The Importance of Prior Probabilities for Entry Page Search

by Wessel Kraaij, Thijs Westerveld, and Djoerd Hiemstra

An important class of searches on the world-wide-web has the goal to find an entry page (homepage) of an organisation. Entry page search is quite different from Ad Hoc search. Indeed a plain Ad Hoc system performs disappointingly. We explored three non-content features of web pages: page length, number of incoming links and URL form. Especially the URL form proved to be a good predictor. Using URL form priors we found over 70% of all entry pages at rank 1, and up to 89% in the top 10. Non-content features can easily be embedded in a language model framework as a prior probability

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SIGIR 2014 Test of Time Honourable Mention

The paper was published at SIGIR 2002 and received an Honourable Mention for the ACM SIGIR Test of Time award at the 37th Annual ACM SIGIR conference on Research & development in information retrieval in Gold Coast Australia on 9 July 2014.