Paper: Search in the Lost Sense of ``Query'': Question Formulation in Web Search Queries and its Temporal Changes

ACL ID P11-2024
Title Search in the Lost Sense of ``Query'': Question Formulation in Web Search Queries and its Temporal Changes
Venue Annual Meeting of the Association of Computational Linguistics
Session Main Conference
Year 2011
Authors

Web search is an information-seeking activ- ity. Often times, this amounts to a user seek- ing answers to a question. However, queries, which encode user’s information need, are typically not expressed as full-length natural language sentences — in particular, as ques- tions. Rather, they consist of one or more text fragments. As humans become more search- engine-savvy, do natural-language questions still have a role to play in web search? Through a systematic, large-scale study, we find to our surprise that as time goes by, web users are more likely to use questions to ex- press their search intent.