Mike Grehan says...

Random musings about search marketing, flying around the planet, networking and people watching.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Temporal Co-Occurrence: How does a Developing Event Affect Search Results?

My friend Dr Edel Garcia has written yet another fascinating paper.

He investigates how an in-progress event might shape search results in the websphere and the blogosphere.

From the introduction:

According to the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Hurricane Katrina made landfall at approximately 7:10 a.m. EDT on Aug.29, 2005, in Plaquemines Parish, Lousiana (1). The hurricane impacted not only the environment and lives, but also the state economy, the stock market, and, as expected, search results from commercial search engines. This prompted us to investigate how evolving events like developing news stories, natural disasters, terrorist activities and other world events influence search results.

Prior studies indicate that there is a connection. According to an IBM group, searches for world trade center produced completely different results before and after the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, indicating a change in the meaning of query terms (2). And according to Kleinberg, "understanding the pattern of a developing news story requires considering not just the content of the relevant articles but also how they evolve over time" (3). These studies suggest that external events can shape the meaning of queries and content of documents.

Interestngly, for me, as a huge admirer of the work of Jon Kleinberg (mentioned above), SEM doyen, AdWords Guru and one of my best pals, Andrew Goodman dropped in to remind me of burstiness.


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