Determining the informational, navigational and transactional intent of web queries

Booth, Danielle, Jansen, Bernard, & Spink, Amanda (2008) Determining the informational, navigational and transactional intent of web queries. Information Processing and Management, 44(3), pp. 1251-1266.

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Abstract

In this paper, we define and present a comprehensive classification of user intent for Web searching. The classification consists of three hierarchical levels of informational, navigational, and transactional intent. After deriving attributes of each, we then developed a software application that automatically classified queries using a Web search engine log of over a million and a half queries submitted by several hundred thousand users. Our findings show that more than 80% of Web queries are informational in nature, with about 10% each being navigational and transactional. In order to validate the accuracy of our algorithm, we manually coded 400 queries and compared the results from this manual classification to the results determined by the automated method. This comparison showed that the automatic classification has an accuracy of 74%. Of the remaining 25% of the queries, the user intent is vague or multi-faceted, pointing to the need for probabilistic classification. We discuss how search engines can use knowledge of user intent to provide more targeted and relevant results in Web searching.

Impact and interest:

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106 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 30951
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: User Intent, Web Queries, Web Searching, Search Engines
DOI: 10.1016/j.ipm.2007.07.015
ISSN: 0306-4573
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > OTHER INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (089900)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Elsevier Ltd
Deposited On: 12 Feb 2010 12:51
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:52

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