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The Influence of Caption Features on Clickthrough Patterns in Web Search

Summary: The Influence of Caption Features on
Clickthrough Patterns in Web Search
Charles L. A. Clarke, University of Waterloo
Eugene Agichtein, Emory University
Susan Dumais, Microsoft Research
Ryen W. White, Microsoft Research
Web search engines present lists of captions, comprising ti-
tle, snippet, and URL, to help users decide which search
results to visit. Understanding the influence of features of
these captions on Web search behavior may help validate
algorithms and guidelines for their improved generation. In
this paper we develop a methodology to use clickthrough
logs from a commercial search engine to study user behavior
when interacting with search result captions. The findings
of our study suggest that relatively simple caption features
such as the presence of all terms query terms, the readabil-
ity of the snippet, and the length of the URL shown in the
caption, can significantly influence users' Web search behav-


Source: Agichtein, Eugene - Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Emory University
Dumais, Susan - Adaptive Systems and Interaction Group, Microsoft Research
Hunt, Galen - Operating Systems Group, Microsoft Research


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences