Analyzing Search Engines Essay Research Paper 1 — страница 2

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access the information he needs quickly. These services are particularly relevant to the advanced and regular web users because they use the web frequently, making such a page very convenient. In evaluating this criteria, the three test search engines were tested to see if they offered the following additional services/features: Online shopping guide Suggested searches. Searches based on what you have searched for Other searches – whitepages, yellowpages, maps/directions etc Hand-picked categories or channels for web browsing Personalisation of search results, layout, information etc The number of additional services offered by each of the test search engines was calculated and then recorded out of a score of 5. Criteria 5 – Page Design and LayoutThis criteria was to evaluate

the usefulness and usability of the page design and layouts of the search engines. This criteria is important for all users, especially advanced users because they visit search engines regularly and therefore want a page that looks nice, is easy to get around, and loads quickly, even on low-end machines. Because although advanced web users would probably be able to navigate around and use a poorly designed site, a well designed site will mean reduced time using the site and quicker access to the information they’re after. Note: Page time is a factor of consideration for this criteria. This is referring specifically to the time the HTML page loads (based on page elements such as tables (and nested tables), images, CSS, JavaScripts etc In evaluating this criteria the three test

search engines were tested against the following points: Easy navigation Good Appearance/Aesthetics Quick Page load time Each of these points were graded out of 3 points with 1 for poor, 2 for average, 3 for excellent. Search Engine SelectionThe three test search engines that the previous criteria were tested against were selected as being the three search engines most likely to be used by an advanced web user. AltaVista was selected because of its powerful search syntax options (eg link:, url: etc) and the fact that it claims to have the largest page index of all search engines. It also provides other features and services useful to a corporate web user and therefore is likely to be one of the first choices for such a user. Google was selected because its ‘no-noise’

approach. This ideology would be appreciated by many advanced users who don’t need fancy graphical interfaces, or comprehensive search help. The first page is simply a search screen, with other features (directory etc) tucked away, where users can access it if they need it; however the main emphasis of Google is on searching. Google’s simple search results screen also ensures that the results are returned quickly and its search options (with the possibility of saving preferences to a cookie) means that advanced users can easily have Google configured to their specific needs. Google is very much an advanced user’s search engine and it is for this reason it was included for evaluation. DirectHit was selected because of its new approach to ranking search results. Most search

engines base the results on keywords, keyword location, keyword density etc, as does DirectHit, but this search engine also takes notice of the links that users click when they perform a search, and how much time they then spend on the sites. These results are then applied to future searches, effectively making real people the judge of the search order ( This different approach is one that is likely to interest advanced web users who are often seeking information quickly and easily. 4. Report on resultsThe following table represents the results of the three test search engines (Part 2) against the evaluation criteria (Part 1 and 3). Accuracy + RelevanceSpeedSearch OptionsAdditional ServicesLayout +

DesignAltaVista60%Excellent9/105/56/10Google55%Excellent8/102/56/10 DirectHit85%Good5/105/57/10Specific Details of the search engine scores for the Search Options, Additional Services and Layout and Design criteria are available in Appendix 1. 5. Evaluate your criteria and MethodologyAfter evaluating three search engines according to the criteria established in Part 1, the usefulness of some of the criteria was questionable. The Accuracy and Relevance score was useful, and seemed to accurately represent how accurate I felt the search engine was. However, in evaluating the accuracy and relevance of pages, no ’scientific’ method could be employed – rather, it was a purely personal decision, of whether I thought the page was relevant to someone using the search term used. For