Empirical evaluation of one of the relationships between the user, search engines, metadata and Web sites in three-letter .com Websites

03 Mar 2014

The Internet offers a plethora of data to the user. The magnitude is impossible to measure, and there is no single categorization scheme in place to enable easy access to this data. Although many programs exist to enable Internet users to explore the landscape (friendly browsers, free search engines), general consensus exists that navigating the Internet is not a straightforward task (Voorbij 1999:598). There appears to be a link between an Internet user, search engines, metadata and Web sites, as these elements are defined in Section 2. The purpose of this research project was to inspect and report on one relationship between these four elements. Countless reports in research literature seem to suggest that Internet searching is a difficult, error-prone task. For example, Sherman echoes Stoll?s sentiments by stating that the Internet has become the world?s largest and most complex, chaotic and unstructured search space (Sherman 1999:54). Another author finds that retrieval and organization of materials on the Web are not standardized, while others claim that the WWW was not designed to support organized publishing of data, or the retrieval thereof (Coetzee 1999:9; Robertson 2003). Information overload has arrived (Wyle 2004). This author regards this situation serious enough to warrant close inspection, experimentation and reporting.