Institutional vs Generic Web Search: A Results-Centric Comparison

Baden Hughes, Research Fellow, Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia. Email: badenh@csse.unimelb.edu.au

Margaret Ruwoldt, Manager - Web Services, Information Services, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia. Email: m.ruwoldt@unimelb.edu.au


Keywords

web search, search engines, performance comparison, quantitative analysis


Abstract

We conduct a principled comparison of search results found using an institutional web search engine, and those found using a generic web search engine. We use the top 1000 searches recorded against the institutional web search engine during 2005, and programatically execute the same queries against the institutional web search engine, and a selection of broad coverage web search engines, collecting the top 1000 ranked results. These results are compared across various dimensions as a method of evaluating the overall performance of the institutional web search engine across a number of metrics. The motivation for this work is twofold: both to establish a methodology for benchmarking institutional web search engine performance, and to acquire baseline measurements in the light of a pending infrastructure upgrade.


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