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Determining the User Intent of Web Search Engine Queries

Determining the user intent of Web searches is a difficult problem due to the sparse data available concerning the searcher. In this paper, we examine a method to determine the user intent underlying Web search engine queries. We qualitatively analyze samples of queries from seven transaction logs from three different Web search engines containing more than five million queries. From this analysis, we identified characteristics of user queries based on three broad classifications of user intent. The classifications of informational, navigational, and transactional represent the type of content destination the searcher desired as expressed by their query.

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