November 15, 2003

Search Log Analysis

What terms users search for on your site, how relevant and how many results they get, what are the top queries, which queries return no results, how frequently users resort to search and whether or not they iterate their queries are all very important questions that you must answer if you want to optimise your internal search engine performance.

A very useful discussion on Search Log Analysis is going on over at Lou's blog. Here's a quote by Walter Underwood:
Query logs are gold, because they show the terms that your visitors use, instead of the ones that you use. Every other measurement on your site describes your links that use your words. This is where the visitors speak.

Related Links
How to create your own search log analysis tool in MySQL.
B&A article: What Is A Controlled Vocabulary?
Richard Wiggins explains Thesaurus and Best Bets search results. View in HTML or download Detailed PDF[612kb].
Papers presented at CHI 2003 on Search including this one on Search Log Analysis.

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