Tag Archives: amazon

Do search engines collect keyword data?

In short, yes! Juarez and Torra (2013) summarise how search engines collect this keyword data:

  • Search engines record the keywords you have used and store them as a server log
  • These logs also store your click-through data (i.e. what you have actually viewed and clicked on)
  • A profile is matched to this record and this profile delivers personalised results

Search engines and your keywords

Grimes et al (2008) suggest that these profiles contain a persons’ area/s of interest, location, age or gender.

Keyword research

Search engines do allow you to access keyword data, Google offers this for free via their AdWords feature, but there are other sources which offer you a bigger range of keyword data.

Keyword Discovery (no date: online), for example, allows paid users to access billions of keyword data whereas Google, in comparison, has a much smaller collection of keyword data because Google is not the only worldwide search engine. This also suggests that other search engines may have lower numbers of users but those who do use unpopular search engines, such as, 7search or AOL, may carry out more searches using that search engine. See this comparison from link three in the references at the end of this post.

It is important to note, however, that Keyword Discovery include Amazon as a search engine when, arguably, a lot of people would not think of associating Amazon as a search engine. Amazon does have a search box and does allow users to search for products by using keyword searching. So Amazon is a search engine.

Posted by Gerald Murphy


  1. Grimes C, Tang D, Russell DDM. (2008) Query logs alone are not enough. In: Workshop on query
    log analysis
  2. Juarez, M. and Torra, V. (2013) Toward a Privacy Agent for Information Retrieval. International Journal of Intelligent Systems. 28 [issue number missing] pp. 606-622
  3. Keyword Discovery. [Online] [Accessed on 24th May 2013] http://www.keyworddiscovery.com/google-adwords-keyword-tool.html

A different take on the internet

The Internet refers to the physical structure (cables, nodes etc) of how we can connect to one another online. Whereas the Web is how we interact and communicate with the Internet (e.g. e-mail, or an internet browser).

Who controls the Internet?

As you already know, I am completing a dissertation on search engines. One of the latest readings is from Goldsmith, J., Wu, T. (2006) ‘Who controls the internet?’ Oxford University Press: New York.

I thought these points were interesting

information overload easily occurs on the online world (p. 52)
This is because anyone can publish information online. WordPress is a good example of this because it shows that anyone can publish a blog, even without knowledge on a given subject.

Does this mean that their is a lot of rubbish online? Maybe!
The Internet is a personalised medium
Goldsmith and Wu (2006) use a good example of Amazon.co.uk as an example of personalisation because most visitors are greeted by name on their homepage.
Does personalisation make the Internet a better place? Or, does it allow us to make our way through all the rubbish, clearing a path for you online?