Discovering User Preferences by Using Time Entries in Click-Through Data to Improve Search Engine Results

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Abstract

The search engine log files have been used to gather direct user feedback on the relevancy of the documents presented in the results page. Typically the relative position of the clicks gathered from the log files is used a proxy for the direct user feedback. In this paper we identify reasons for the incompleteness of the relative position of clicks for deciphering the user preferences. Hence, we propose the use of time spent by the user in reading through the document as indicative of user preference for a document with respect to a query. Also, we identify the issues involved in using the time measure and propose means to address them.