How Important Are User-Generated Data for Search Result Quality? Experimental Evidence

41 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2022 Last revised: 15 Nov 2022

See all articles by Tobias J. Klein

Tobias J. Klein

Tilburg University

Madina Kurmangaliyeva

TILEC; Department of Economics, Tilburg University; European University at St. Petersburg (EUSP)

Jens Prufer

Tilburg University - CentER; Tilburg University - Department of Economics; Tilburg University - Law and Economics Center (TILEC)

Patricia Prufer

CentERdata; Tilburg University

Date Written: September 22, 2022

Abstract

Do some search engines produce better search results because their algorithm is better, or because they have access to more data from past searches? In the latter case, mandatory data sharing, a policy that is currently discussed, could trigger innovation and would benefit all users of search engines. We document that the algorithm of a small search engine can produce non-personalized results that are of similar quality than Google’s, if it has enough data, and that overall differences in the quality of search results are explained by searches for less popular search terms. This is confirmed by results from an experiment, in which we keep the algorithm of the search engine fixed and vary the amount of data it uses as an input.

Keywords: Search engine quality, algorithm, user-generated data, data-driven markets, experiment

JEL Classification: L43, L86, O33, C90

Suggested Citation

Klein, Tobias J. and Kurmangaliyeva, Madina and Prufer, Jens and Prufer, Patricia, How Important Are User-Generated Data for Search Result Quality? Experimental Evidence (September 22, 2022). TILEC Discussion Paper No. 2022-016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4229292 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4229292

Tobias J. Klein

Tilburg University ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, DC Noord-Brabant 5000 LE
Netherlands

Madina Kurmangaliyeva

TILEC; Department of Economics, Tilburg University ( email )

Warandelaan 2
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.madinak.com

European University at St. Petersburg (EUSP) ( email )

3 Gagarinskaya Street
St. Petersburg, 191187
Russia

Jens Prufer (Contact Author)

Tilburg University - CentER ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, DC Noord-Brabant 5000 LE
Netherlands

Tilburg University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Tilburg University - Law and Economics Center (TILEC) ( email )

Warandelaan 2
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Patricia Prufer

CentERdata ( email )

PO Box 90153
Tilburg, NL 5000 LE
Netherlands

Tilburg University ( email )

Department of Economics
CentER
Tilburg, 5032 RE
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://center.uvt.nl/phd_stud/prufer/

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