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Search Analytics for Your Site by Louis Rosenfeld

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Anti-Pattern Analysis: Surprises and Outliers

While most of the patterns you find will be at least somewhat predictable, others will be downright head-scratchingly bizarre. For example, years ago some colleagues and I were surprised by a pattern we encountered when analyzing a software company’s queries. Many people were searching for URLs. Even more strange, the URLs were for completely different sites. Why on earth would so many people search for a URL, rather than just enter it in their browser’s address field?

There were many possible theories, the primary of which was that browsers were still rather new, and users easily confused the two main text entry fields they encountered—the browser’s address field and the site’s search box. But really, ...

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