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The effectiveness of Web search enginesfor retrieving relevant ecommerce links


Ecommerce is developing into a fast-growing channel for new business, so a strong presence in this domain could prove essential to the success of numerous commercial organizations. However, there is little research examining ecommerce at the individual customer level, particularly on the success of everyday ecommerce searches. This is critical for the continued success of online commerce. The purpose of this research is to evaluate the effectiveness of search engines in the retrieval of relevant ecommerce links. The study examines the effectiveness of five different types of search engines in response to ecommerce queries by comparing the engines quality of ecommerce links using topical relevancy ratings. This research employs 100 ecommerce queries, five major search engines, and more than 3540 Web links. The findings indicate that links retrieved using an ecommerce search engine are significantly better than those obtained from most other engines types but do not significantly differ from links obtained from a Web directory service. We discuss the implications for Web system design and ecommerce marketing campaigns.

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