User-Centric Content Freshness Metrics for Search Engines

Presented at: 18th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW2009)

by Ali Dasdan, Xinh Huynh


In order to return relevant search results, a search engine must keep its local repository synchronized to the Web, but it is usually impossible to attain perfect freshness. Hence, it is vital for a production search engine continually to monitor and improve repository freshness. Most previous freshness metrics, formulated in the context of developing better synchronization policies, focused on the web crawler while ignoring other parts of a search engine. But, the freshness of documents in a web crawler does not necessarily translate directly into the freshness of search results as seen by users. We propose metrics for measuring freshness from a user's perspective, which take into account the latency between when documents are crawled and when they are viewed by users, as well as the variation in user click and view frequency among different documents. We also describe a practical implementation of these metrics that were used in a production search engine.

Keywords: Poster Session

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