Annoyed by search? Google wants to track your frustration in real time.

Annoyed by search? Google wants to track your frustration in real time.

An interesting piece of research has come out of Google today that could point at a future where search engines can track how frustrated you are with your results in real time.

It’s obviously in Google’s best interests that you have a happy, successful experience when using its search engine, and the company has been looking at user’s behaviour when they become frustrated.

“In addition to many of them sighing or starting to bite their nails,” writes Google’s User Experience Team,  “users sometimes started to type their searches as natural language questions, they sometimes spent a very long time simply staring at the results page, and they sometimes completely changed their approach to the task.”

The team says that it has identified five signals that indicate frustration: “Use of question queries, use of advanced operators, spending more time on the search results page, formulating the longest query in the middle of the session, and spending a larger proportion of the time on the search results page.”

Google says that although it’s early days, this research could be used to allow the company to measure frustration “in real time” in order to help make the search experience more pleasant for everyone in future.

We’d guess that Google Instant is already making search quicker and easier for many users as it allows them to modify searches and see changes in results without waiting, but the idea that websites could one day determine our mood based on the way we interact with them is undoubtedly fascinating.

You can download the full research paper here.

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