What and how children search on the web

Sergio Duarte Torres, Ingmar Weber

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  • 28 Citations

Abstract

The Internet has become an important part of the daily life of children as a source of information and leisure activities. Nonetheless, given that most of the content available on the web is aimed at the general public, children are constantly exposed to inappropriate content, either because the language goes beyond their reading skills, their attention span differs from grown-ups or simple because the content is not targeted at children as is the case of ads and adult content. In this work we employed a large query log sample from a commercial web search engine to identify the struggles and search behavior of children of the age of 6 to young adults of the age of 18. Concretely we hypothesized that the large and complex volume of information to which children are exposed leads to ill-defined searches and to disorientation during the search process. For this purpose, we quantified their search difficulties based on query metrics (e.g. fraction of queries posed in natural language), session metrics (e.g. fraction of abandoned sessions) and click activity (e.g. fraction of ad clicks). We also used the search logs to retrace stages of child development. Concretely we looked for changes in the user interests (e.g. distribution of topics searched), language development (e.g. readability of the content accessed) and cognitive development (e.g. sentiment expressed in the queries) among children and adults. We observed that these metrics clearly demonstrate an increased level of confusion and unsuccessful search sessions among children. We also found a clear relation between the reading level of the clicked pages and the demographics characteristics of the users such as age and average educational attainment of the zone in which the user is located.
LanguageUndefined
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 20th ACM international conference on Information and knowledge management (CIKM 2011)
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages393-402
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-0717-8
DOIs
StatePublished - 4 Oct 2011

Publication series

Name
PublisherACM

Keywords

  • METIS-285125
  • Children
  • IR-79667
  • EC Grant Agreement nr.: FP7/231507
  • DB-IR: INFORMATION RETRIEVAL
  • query logs
  • session analysis
  • EWI-21500
  • topic classification
  • web search

Cite this

Duarte Torres, S., & Weber, I. (2011). What and how children search on the web. In Proceedings of the 20th ACM international conference on Information and knowledge management (CIKM 2011) (pp. 393-402). New York: Association for Computing Machinery. DOI: 10.1145/2063576.2063638
Duarte Torres, Sergio ; Weber, Ingmar. / What and how children search on the web. Proceedings of the 20th ACM international conference on Information and knowledge management (CIKM 2011). New York : Association for Computing Machinery, 2011. pp. 393-402
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Duarte Torres, S & Weber, I 2011, What and how children search on the web. in Proceedings of the 20th ACM international conference on Information and knowledge management (CIKM 2011). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, pp. 393-402. DOI: 10.1145/2063576.2063638

What and how children search on the web. / Duarte Torres, Sergio; Weber, Ingmar.

Proceedings of the 20th ACM international conference on Information and knowledge management (CIKM 2011). New York : Association for Computing Machinery, 2011. p. 393-402.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

TY - GEN

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AU - Weber,Ingmar

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N2 - The Internet has become an important part of the daily life of children as a source of information and leisure activities. Nonetheless, given that most of the content available on the web is aimed at the general public, children are constantly exposed to inappropriate content, either because the language goes beyond their reading skills, their attention span differs from grown-ups or simple because the content is not targeted at children as is the case of ads and adult content. In this work we employed a large query log sample from a commercial web search engine to identify the struggles and search behavior of children of the age of 6 to young adults of the age of 18. Concretely we hypothesized that the large and complex volume of information to which children are exposed leads to ill-defined searches and to disorientation during the search process. For this purpose, we quantified their search difficulties based on query metrics (e.g. fraction of queries posed in natural language), session metrics (e.g. fraction of abandoned sessions) and click activity (e.g. fraction of ad clicks). We also used the search logs to retrace stages of child development. Concretely we looked for changes in the user interests (e.g. distribution of topics searched), language development (e.g. readability of the content accessed) and cognitive development (e.g. sentiment expressed in the queries) among children and adults. We observed that these metrics clearly demonstrate an increased level of confusion and unsuccessful search sessions among children. We also found a clear relation between the reading level of the clicked pages and the demographics characteristics of the users such as age and average educational attainment of the zone in which the user is located.

AB - The Internet has become an important part of the daily life of children as a source of information and leisure activities. Nonetheless, given that most of the content available on the web is aimed at the general public, children are constantly exposed to inappropriate content, either because the language goes beyond their reading skills, their attention span differs from grown-ups or simple because the content is not targeted at children as is the case of ads and adult content. In this work we employed a large query log sample from a commercial web search engine to identify the struggles and search behavior of children of the age of 6 to young adults of the age of 18. Concretely we hypothesized that the large and complex volume of information to which children are exposed leads to ill-defined searches and to disorientation during the search process. For this purpose, we quantified their search difficulties based on query metrics (e.g. fraction of queries posed in natural language), session metrics (e.g. fraction of abandoned sessions) and click activity (e.g. fraction of ad clicks). We also used the search logs to retrace stages of child development. Concretely we looked for changes in the user interests (e.g. distribution of topics searched), language development (e.g. readability of the content accessed) and cognitive development (e.g. sentiment expressed in the queries) among children and adults. We observed that these metrics clearly demonstrate an increased level of confusion and unsuccessful search sessions among children. We also found a clear relation between the reading level of the clicked pages and the demographics characteristics of the users such as age and average educational attainment of the zone in which the user is located.

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KW - EC Grant Agreement nr.: FP7/231507

KW - DB-IR: INFORMATION RETRIEVAL

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KW - session analysis

KW - EWI-21500

KW - topic classification

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BT - Proceedings of the 20th ACM international conference on Information and knowledge management (CIKM 2011)

PB - Association for Computing Machinery

CY - New York

ER -

Duarte Torres S, Weber I. What and how children search on the web. In Proceedings of the 20th ACM international conference on Information and knowledge management (CIKM 2011). New York: Association for Computing Machinery. 2011. p. 393-402. Available from, DOI: 10.1145/2063576.2063638