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The Internet America Online

Visualizing Searches Over Time 56

An anonymous reader writes "Chris Harrison has built a visualization that explores what people are doing online over time. He explains, 'Search engines are the gateway to the internet for most people, and so search queries provide insight into what people are doing and thinking. In order to examine millions of search queries, I built a simple, cyclical, clock-like visualization that displays the top search terms over a 24-hour period.' Interesting to see that the masses online have fairly coherent and consistent search behaviors. He also investigates the notorious AOL dataset."
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Visualizing Searches Over Time

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  • AOL set? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tomstdenis ( 446163 ) <tomstdenis@gAUDENmail.com minus poet> on Friday March 02, 2007 @09:35AM (#18205952) Homepage
    As much as I hate AOL, I hate misleading summaries too. Search queries ARE NOT PRIVATE. AOL leaking it [or just giving it out] shouldn't be viewed as negative. There is no https://www.google.com/ [google.com] (it redirects to the http version). No security, no privacy.

  • by humungusfungus ( 81155 ) on Friday March 02, 2007 @10:19AM (#18206228)
    I found it interesting that it seems most people type in things like "information about -something- '" into a search engine.

    It seems to me to be a somewhat naive way of searching given that many sites don't necessarily spell out that they are giving information about a given subject. It is an oblique reminder of how many people might view the Internet as a formal collection of officially produced, authoritative "Information" instead of the jumble of stuff that it is. Perhaps search engine logic commonly treats the string word "information about" in a special way given people's apparent proclivity to do this. ....and if they don't, perhaps they should.

    Regardless, I would drop those words from the data as they don't really help in showing what people are searching for. It's similar to including the word "and"; it conveys little about what people are searching for and more about *how* they are searching.

The shortest distance between two points is under construction. -- Noelie Alito