Cover by Louis Rosenfeld

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The Before-and-After Test

John focused on analyzing a few really common search queries to see how well they were performing—queries that represented needs that huge numbers of Vanguard’s intranet searchers wanted addressed. If you’re familiar with the “long tail,”[1] these would be considered the “short head.” (If you’re not, don’t worry—you’ll learn the basics in Chapter 2.) John wanted to compare how well these queries performed before and after—with the original search system and now with the new one.

Next, John needed some metrics for these common queries so he could compare them. He knew that there wasn’t a single metric that would be perfect, so he hedged his bets and came up with two sets of metrics respectively: relevancy and precision. ...

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