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Readability and word complexity of SERPs snippets and web pages on children’s search queries

Readability and word complexity of SERPs snippets and web pages on children’s search queries The purpose of this paper is to analyze the readability and level of word complexity of search engine results pages (SERPs) snippets and associated web pages between Google and Bing.Design/methodology/approachThe authors employed the Readability Test Tool to analyze the readability and word complexity of 3,000 SERPs snippets and 3,000 associated pages in Google and Bing retrieved on 150 search queries issued by middle school children.FindingsA significant difference was found in the readability of SERPs snippets and associated web pages between Google and Bing. A significant difference was also observed in the number of complex words in snippets between the two engines but not in associated web pages. At the engine level, the readability of Google and Bing snippets was significantly higher than associated web pages. The readability of Google SERPs snippets was at a much higher level than those of Bing. The readability of snippets in both engines mismatched with the reading comprehension of children in grades 6–8.Research limitations/implicationsThe data corpus may be small. Analysis relied on quantitative measures.Practical implicationsPractitioners and other mediators should mitigate the readability issue in SERPs snippets. Researchers should consider text readability and word complexity simultaneously with other factors to obtain the nuanced understanding of young users’ web information behaviors. Additional theoretical and methodological implications are discussed.Originality/valueThis study measured the readability and the level of word complexity embedded in SERPs snippets and compared them to respective web pages in Google and Bing. Findings provide further evidence of the readability issue of SERPs snippets and the need to solve this issue through system design improvements. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Aslib Journal of Information Management Emerald Publishing

Readability and word complexity of SERPs snippets and web pages on children’s search queries

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References (52)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2050-3806
DOI
10.1108/ajim-05-2018-0124
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the readability and level of word complexity of search engine results pages (SERPs) snippets and associated web pages between Google and Bing.Design/methodology/approachThe authors employed the Readability Test Tool to analyze the readability and word complexity of 3,000 SERPs snippets and 3,000 associated pages in Google and Bing retrieved on 150 search queries issued by middle school children.FindingsA significant difference was found in the readability of SERPs snippets and associated web pages between Google and Bing. A significant difference was also observed in the number of complex words in snippets between the two engines but not in associated web pages. At the engine level, the readability of Google and Bing snippets was significantly higher than associated web pages. The readability of Google SERPs snippets was at a much higher level than those of Bing. The readability of snippets in both engines mismatched with the reading comprehension of children in grades 6–8.Research limitations/implicationsThe data corpus may be small. Analysis relied on quantitative measures.Practical implicationsPractitioners and other mediators should mitigate the readability issue in SERPs snippets. Researchers should consider text readability and word complexity simultaneously with other factors to obtain the nuanced understanding of young users’ web information behaviors. Additional theoretical and methodological implications are discussed.Originality/valueThis study measured the readability and the level of word complexity embedded in SERPs snippets and compared them to respective web pages in Google and Bing. Findings provide further evidence of the readability issue of SERPs snippets and the need to solve this issue through system design improvements.

Journal

Aslib Journal of Information ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: May 10, 2019

Keywords: Google; Children; Readability; Bing; Search queries; SERPs snippets; Search engine results pages; Web text readability and word complexity

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