Search Engine Analysis Assignment Information

By samooresamoore (1259592876|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p, last edited at 1260200441|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p)

In this post I provide some feedback based on my grading of this assignment.


These are the points that I looked for in your assignment. Some people focused on one part more than another because of the nature of the particular search engine that they looked at — I understand that.

  1. Demonstration
    1. how to use the tool
    2. cover the highlights of the tool
  2. Analysis
    1. discuss the points highlighted by one of the frameworks
  3. Comparison
    1. demonstrate how this tool differs from competitors
    2. use 2-3 competitors
    3. analysis of specific query results
  4. Overview/Executive summary
    1. effective overview of the analysis
    2. include recommendation

General comments

  1. Word choice difficulties
    • "it's" means "it is"; "it's" is not a gender neutral possessive
    • You say or do something "too much" or "too many", not "to much"
    • "most unique" is not correct usage — "unique" means "one of a kind". It's like saying someone is a little pregnant; she either is or isn't.
    • "choose" rhymes with "lose", and it's a present tense verb
  2. Formatting difficulties
    • Pluses, not asterisks (bold), are used for headlines
    • Asterisks (with space) are used for unnumbered lists
    • Don't use a theme in which your links are basically invisible; I need to know what I can click on (in order to see what work you've done); I shouldn't have to hunt.
    • Graphics that you include in a page must be named with a single word (with no spaces).
  3. Graphical annotations (such as a red circle) help a lot any time you're using a screen capture graphic.
  4. Some of these search sites have lots of other functionality. Be sure to focus your write-up on the search part of the site.

Information for next year

Now that I have graded a set of assignments, I understand better what is easier to read and what makes a better analysis. Thus, for next year, I'm going to include the following information in the assignment description.

  1. Be sure to compare to Google if at all possible. However, compare your search engine on its own terms. For example, if your search engine is for movies, then compare your site to others based on their ability to find movie-related information.
  2. Your writing should be easily scannable. You should not compose long paragraphs that fill a screen.
  3. Suggested structure:
    • Create a separate wiki containing just the search engine analysis.
    • Provide link to one page; this page should contain the executive summary of the report (which you will write last).
    • A menu on the site (on the top, not side, of the page) should point to all the pages in this report (in order).
    • Should have one page for each of the following:
      1. executive summary — This should be a true summary, briefly summarizing what you wrote in the rest of the report. The bottom of this page should have a recommendation as to 1) whether someone should use this tool, and 2) if so, how should they integrate this tool into their search behavior.
      2. the demonstration — screen captures accompanied by text or video demonstration (either is capable of giving you full credit; neither is seen as superior to the other)
      3. the analysis — You should explicitly use the framework in "Deconstructing the search experience" to analyze your search engine.
      4. all of the comparisons that you do — You should compare your search engine to Google (if at all appropriate) and to 2 other specialized search engines.
        • In the comparison, you should run three queries and show/describe how the results differ for the different search tools. You can do this in the most informative way possible (whatever is most appropriate for your purposes).
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