Evaluating Web Search Engines

Journal of Online Information Review (OIR) is going to publish a special issue on evaluating Web search engines. According to the journal's call for paper, "The aim of this special issue is to explore the importance and the many possibilities of evaluating Web search engines ... a web search is clearly the foremost method for finding information today. According to ComScore, more than 130 billion search queries were posed to search engines in a single month in 2009. This explains why search engine research is not only of interest to a community working on improving them, but also to a society whose members rely heavily on search engines. In contrast to the importance of search engines, there are still relatively few studies dealing with their quality. The question is how search engines can be best evaluated considering their wide use and the typical user behaviour towards them. Search engines are not only used for general-purpose queries, but in many different contexts. The spectrum of queries ranges from trivial to highly specific; the usage scenarios range from private to professional ... topics of interest may focus on but are not restricted to: Retrieval Effectiveness, Reliability of Search Results, Language Handling, Index Sizes and Overlap Comparisons, Query Log Analysis, User Behaviour, Results Presentation, User Surveys, User Guidance in the Search Process, Index and/or Results Freshness, Diversity of Results, Search Features Comparison and Influence of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on Results Quality."

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