Beyond The Privacy Outcry, AOL Search Data Actually Is Interesting Info
from the oh,-right,-the-research... dept
Beck writes "There has been much hoopla over the privacy concerns regarding AOL's release of search data. Lost in the excitement is the fact that AOL had good intentions. They wanted to give researchers a window into how people use online search. If you step back for a moment and take a look, the findings are interesting. Lee Gomes of the Wall Street Journal published the results of his research. He did not approach the story from the privacy angle, but rather from the view of a researcher who wants to know how people use the Internet. He found, for example, that the most common search term is the word "free". Also interesting is that 47% of searches resulted in no click by the user. 28% of searches were refinements of previous searches, and 42% of the time the user clicks on the first item in the search results. The article includes additional data, and a look at the quality of the search results."