As of January, 2012, this site is no longer being updated, due to work and health issues
Surveys on Search Engines
Make your voice heard -- fill in our survey and tell us about your site,
Intranet or portal, what you are using for search, or why you haven't jumped
on board yet.
We now have 1627 survey results as of
July 31, 2002, covering the topics of why site managers have or have not
installed search engines, correlations of the sizes of sites and the installation
of search engines, frequency of updates, file formats served, languages,
and number of languages used on sites.
For web administrator ratings of the search tools they've used, see the
Survey Ratings page. This includes evaluations
of the most popular search engines (with seven or more responses), other
products, and custom development.
- Unpuzzling Search:
Best Practices from Mondosoft Study IDC Bulletin, August 2002 by Susan
Feldman Leading search analyst Susan Feldman describes common problems
with search engines and Mondosoft's approach. The company performed extensive
research on 57 million search sessions using their own software, with success
defined as a click on one of the top ten results, an average of 59%. They
found that user are willing to try again (an average of 1.56 queries per session)
but that the queries are very short, 52% were only one word, and only 5% of
users checked the second page of search results. 22% of the searches produced
no results at all, mainly because there was a mismatch between the search
topic and the site contents, while 75% of the questions used one of the top
100 search terms. Recommendations include using categories to put results
in context, adding synonyms and spelling options; adding content, titles,
dates, authors and descriptions; providing manual
recommendations; track user behavior with searches and sessions.
- Taxonomy &
Content Classification: Delphi Group Report (guest or customer access
required) Delphi, April 11, 2002
Defines the increasing need for tools to organize information and avoid overload.
Survey results of 450 executives, IT or managers at large enterprise organizations
with at least 50,000 documents shows: most spend more than 2 hours per day
searching for information, 73% say that finding information is difficult,
the main impediments were "bad tools" (28%) and "data changes"
(35%). According to the survey, over 95% of the sites have at least 10% of
the documents changing monthly. 39% of the respondents have some kind of system
for classifying documents while only 33% have any kind of tagging.
All Site Features Turn Online Shoppers Into Buyers, PricewaterhouseCoopers'
Survey Reports PricewaterhouseCoopers, March 6, 2001
A survey of 547 Internet users in January of this year found that over three-quarters
of the respondents use search features (77%). And search functionality is
considered the most important feature for online shopping by 43%, beating
product information (40%), when choosing where to shop. Search led customer
service, personalization and wish lists in selecting sites. When deciding
what to buy, search functions also pay an important role, although enlarged
product images, availability and comparison guides are more directly involved.
This indicates that e-commerce sites should concentrate on providing excellent
search results rather than expensive and complex interactive features.
- Search Survey Results: "Sex" Popular on the Web, Many People
Inefficient at Reaching Their Online Destinations (content removed, see
Alexa Research, February 14, 2001
To no one's surprise, this comprehensive study of 10 web search engines over
two years finds that the single most common search is for the word "sex"
(0.3289%), as well as "porn", "nudes" and "xxx".
More interestingly, web users get confused by the search field, because it
is quite common to find them typing in URLs, such as "hotmail",
"yahoo" and "ebay". We have found both of these common
problems to be true on site search engines as well, and recommend designing
No-Matches Pages with this problem in
- Roper Study on "Web Rage" while Searching (removed from
the Roper site: see the ZDNet
article on the study). Roper Starch Surveys, December 18, 2000
Commissioned by the search engine WebTop,
this reports the results of a study of people doing general web searches saying:
On average, it takes 12 minutes of searching the Web for specific information
before Internet users get frustrated. Almost one in five Internet users
get frustrated if their search takes them up to five minutes to complete.
About half of Internet users have the patience to search the Web for longer
than 15 minutes.
Danny Sullivan of SearchEngineWatch has termed this "search
rage" based on the statistic that total of 71% of people reported
being frustrated at some time during searching, and over half get frustrated
by irrelevant information in search results. However, more than 75% usually
or always find what they're looking for.
- UKOLN (UK Office for Library and Information Networking) Surveys
These surveys track search engines used in public web sites in Great Britain,
looking for trends. Also covers issues of shared and regional indexing.
Computing Magazine Reader Poll Results: Search Engines September, 2000
Small survey covering search engine satisfaction, features, numbers of
pages searched and served, languages, etc.
- "Most popular search engines within the enterprise" Intranet Journal,
November 9, 1998
Results of an admittedly unscientific survey found intranet webmasters prefer,
in order: Ultraseek, Netscape
Compass 3, Microsoft Index Server
2, AltaVista Search Intranet, Inmagic/Lycos,
Folio Site Director, Magnifi Enterprise 2,
and Quadralay WebWorks(tie), with
at least one write-in vote for PLS.
- Htdig survey results
List of 35 ht://Dig installations, including number of servers, of documents,
of words; update frequency; number of hits per day; index size, primary use
(intranet, educational, etc.) and problems.
- April, 1998 - Macintosh Site Search Tools
Date modified: 2002-12-18