Lou Rosenfeld and Rich Wiggins present their search analytics survey results
Earlier this year Lou Rosenfeld and Rich Wiggins carried out a survey about search log analysis. They published the results a few weeks ago, but I've only just got round to looking at them myself because of the amount of time I spend offline these days.
I was very pleased to see that a couple of my articles had been reccommended by someone or some people as good resources on the topic - How Search Can Help You Understand Your Audience, A Day In The Life Of BBCi Search, Putting A F__k Off Dalek on the BBC Homepage Isn't Big or Clever, and Fine Tuning Your Enterprise Search.
One of the sad things though to see from the survey results was that slightly under a third of the respondents cited either 'lack of easy and popular tools' or 'tension or incompatibility between those interested in analyzing content (librarians, IAs, usability folks) and IT personnel who could deliver tools or data'. That is a real shame. Rosenfeld and Wiggins have tried to address this somewhat, by releasing a Perl code sample that can be used to analyse the queries. Even then I guess most information type people will need the help of their technical people to get it up and running.
Rosenfeld and Wiggins are producing a book on the subject, and doing it in a delightfully open way. There is already a sample chapter available, and a really useful list of search analytics links and resources that they are building on del.icio.us as a kind of online bibliography.