A Comparative Analysis of Web Search Query: Informational Vs. Navigational Queries

Nuhu Yusuf, Mohd Amin Mohd Yunus, Norfaradilla Wahid


The search engines are mainly used to retrieve relevant information. Information retrieval researchers show that queries are the basis for providing better search engine performance. The search query is becoming a means for users to search for their needed information. Web search query is one of the common search queries that is widely used in domain areas. However, the main challenge is the absence of a clear understanding of how web search query influences the users’ behavior on different web search engines. With the emergence of different types of a web search query, the understanding of user behavior on a web search query guides in improving the performance of many web search engines. Current research focused on using informational queries to search relevance information from a database while ignoring the importance of navigational queries. In this paper, we compared the informational and navigational type of a web search query that is mostly used in academic settings. Specifically, we examine the problems, solutions and techniques used in each of these types. We used a query log to conduct an experiment using BM25 mathematical model. The results indicated that the informational search query performed best because several keywords have been included to properly explain the queries. Also, language vocabularies used in informational queries contributed to better search performance. We believed that the outcomes of our comparisons will guide web search engine developers on the right search query for their web search engines.


web search; web search query; informational query; navigational query; information retrieval; search engine.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18517/ijaseit.9.1.7578


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