The Use of Query Operators and Their Effect on the Results from Web Search Engines

The Use of Query Operators and Their Effect on the Results from Web Search Engines

Bernard J. Jansen (The Pennsylvania State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2004 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-191-9.ch004
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Abstract

Advice to improve searching performance typically includes recommendations to utilize query operators, such as Boolean or phrase searching. Many professionals assume that the use of these query operators techniques would improve the quality of results. In this chapter, we review the existing literature on this topic, and we test this assumption by examining the effects of query structure on the documents retrieved by Web search services. The results obtained using the queries with search operators from each search engine were compared to the results obtained by the original 100 queries with no operators from that search engine. Overall, increasing the complexity of the queries had only moderate effect on the results, with an average 66% similarity between results from the simple and complex queries. Implications on the effectiveness of current searching techniques for future search engine design and for future research are discussed.

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