[Web4lib] What to call the links

Lars Aronsson lars at aronsson.se
Tue May 6 07:21:57 EDT 2008

Michelle Watson wrote:

> We placed basic search functionality directly on the home page, 
> along with links to more in depth searching if necessary.

Do any libraries store and analyze the search expressions that 
their users type in?  I don't know, but I can imagine, that this 
would be a major part of what search engine companies do.

If I go to http://catalog.loc.gov/ and search for the author 
Einstien (note the subtle misspelling), I get a hit list starting 
with Einsturzende Neubauten, Einsweiler, EINTAD, and Einthoven.  

The same search on Google yields the suggestion "did you mean 
Einstein?" and the top two hits in the list are on Einstein, 
before the misspelled web pages start to appear.

It would be interesting to learn how many typed Einstien into the 
catalog search, compared to how many correctly typed Einstein.

It's impressive of course that not a single book at LoC is 
cataloged under this misspelling.  But perhaps librarians are 
overly occupied with spell checking catalog records, in proportion 
to looking at what search expressions their users enter.

  Lars Aronsson (lars at aronsson.se)
  Aronsson Datateknik - http://aronsson.se

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