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Understanding the commonality of terms your users are using

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  • Lee Romero
    Hi all - I wanted to ask this community if you can share any insights from your own experience on a topic I ve been considering of late. Last fall I wrote up a
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 16, 2011
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      Hi all - I wanted to ask this community if you can share any insights
      from your own experience on a topic I've been considering of late.

      Last fall I wrote up a blog post describing my attempts to understand
      how "short" the "short head" of our search log is compared to the
      "long tail":

      http://blog.leeromero.org/2010/11/13/80-20-the-lie-in-your-search-log/

      I found that the amount of commonality at the top end of the search
      log (i.e., the short head) is not as short as I've anecdotally heard
      it described as.

      But what I don't know is what a "normal" curve might really look like
      - i.e., comparing this across multiple search solutions. I did
      receive a few comments about this on the blog but not enough to
      provide anything for a real comparison.

      I'm thinking that if several members of this community could share an
      analysis similar to what I did, it might be possible for the community
      to establish some kind of benchmark that we could compare against.

      I don't know if the size of the "short head" really impacts the users
      of search directly, but from an administrative perspective, the
      flatter the curve is, the harder it makes to really understand what
      users are looking for and to try to work on improving search.

      Can anyone share any experience or insight you might have from your
      own search solution? For anyone who's consulted with clients - is it
      feasible to share any insight you might have from multiple clients
      about what this curve looks like (I don't think sharing that would
      expose any proprietary information, would it?)?

      Regards
      Lee Romero
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