A taxonomy of web search

Andrei Z. Broder. A taxonomy of web search. SIGIR Forum, 36(2):3-10, 2002. [doi]


Classic IR (information retrieval) is inherently predicated on users searching for information, the so-called “information need”. But the need behind a web search is often not informational – it might be navigational (give me the url of the site I want to reach) or transactional (show me sites where I can perform a certain transaction, e.g. shop, download a file, or find a map). We explore this taxonomy of web searches and discuss how global search engines evolved to deal with web-specific needs.