Analysis of Search and Browsing Behavior of Young Users on the Web

by Sergio Duarte Torres, Ingmar Weber and Djoerd Hiemstra 

In this journal paper we expanded the study presented in paper What and How Children Search on the Web in two directions. Firstly, We provide a more detailed analysis of the topics that are searched by children on a state-of-the-art search engine by using novel classification based on fine-grained topics derived from the categories of the Yahoo! Answers service. The findings obtained through this analysis allow us to provide concrete recommendations for the development of modern IR systems for young users in specific age ranges.

Secondly, we employed toolbar logs from the Yahoo! search engine to characterize the browsing behavior of young users, particularly to understand the activities on the Internet that trigger search. We quantified the proportion of browsing and search activity in the toolbar sessions and we estimated the likelihood of a user to carry out search on the Web vertical and multimedia verticals (i.e.\ videos and images) given that the previous event is another search event or a browsing event. We found that certain group of young users are more likely to carried out multimedia search and that certain browsing events are more likely to trigger web search, such as knowledge related websites (e.g. Wikipedia).

Published at TWEB ACM, March 2014, Volume 8 Issue 2. Read the paper.