Wednesday, 17 July 2013

News Vertical Search: When and What to Display to Users



News reporting has seen a shift toward fast-paced online reporting in new sources such as social media. Web Search engines that support a news vertical have historically relied upon articles published by major newswire providers when serving news-related queries. In this paper, we investigate to what extent real-time content from newswire, blogs, Twitter and Wikipedia sources are useful to return to the user in the current fast-paced news search setting. In particular, we perform a detailed user study using the emerging medium of crowdsourcing to determine when and where integrating news-related content from these various sources can better serve the user’s news need. We sampled approximately 300 news-related search queries using Google Trends and Bitly data in real-time for two time periods. For these queries, we have crowdsourced workers compare Web search rankings for each, with similar rankings integrating real-time news content from sources such as Twitter or the blogosphere. Our results show that users exhibited a preference for rankings integrating newswire articles for only half of our queries, indicating that relying solely on newswire providers for news-related content is now insufficient. Moreover, our results show that users preferred rankings that integrate tweets more often than those that integrate newswire articles, showing the potential of using social media to better serve news queries.

Richard McCreadie, Craig Macdonald, Iadh Ounis
News Vertical Search: When and What to Display to Users
In Proceedings of SIGIR 2013


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