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The responsiveness of search engine indexes

AuthorsThelwall, Mike
KeywordsSearch engines
Link analysis
Time series
Issue Date2001
PublisherEditorial CSIC
CitationCybermetrics 5(1): Paper 1 (2001)
AbstractSearch engines are an important tool for information foraging on the web. The broad details of how they work is, therefore, of relevance to both information seekers and providers. Yet search engines are known to only index a fraction of the web, up to a maximum of 16% in one recent study. A search engine must crawl the web periodically in order to maintain an up to date index, but, given the limitations of total coverage, how can it decide which sites to cover and which to ignore? One answer lies in research showing the importance of web links in identifying useful sources of information. This paper reports on an experiment to investigate the effect of link count on the indexing of 1000 sites in three search portals over a period of seven months. It was found that, although all engines added sites during the period of the survey, only Google showed evidence of being very responsive to the existence of links on the test site, whereas AltaVista’s results were very stable over time
Appears in Collections:(CINDOC) Cybermetrics: International Journal of Scientometrics, Informetrics and Bibliometrics
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