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Making Bible Search Results Relevant (BibleTech 2011)

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Statistics and recommendations on how people search the Bible, based on data from Bible Gateway.

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Making Bible Search Results Relevant (BibleTech 2011)

  1. 1. Making Bible Search Results Relevant Stephen Smith Bible Gateway March 25, 2011
  2. 2. Agenda 1. How people search Bible Gateway 1. Four types of searches 2. Seven ways people find verses 2. How people browse Bible Gateway 1. Verse popularity 2. Parsing queries 3. Different translations
  3. 3. Source Data • Bible Gateway logs, May-November 2010 • 160 GB • Processed mostly with Perl • Amazon EC2
  4. 4. Search
  5. 5. Long Tail of Searches Longer tail queries (log) Numberofqueries(log)
  6. 6. Percentage of Misspellings Longer tail queries Serman Perserverance Vengence Jezabel Prodical son
  7. 7. Query Types Change Down the Tail Longer tail queries
  8. 8. 1. Quote
  9. 9. Phil 4:13 Search Quotes I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
  10. 10. Seven Verse Search Strategies Type Example Percent Exact word / phrase I can do all things 80 Similar verse With God, all things are possible 9 Partial word / misspelling Christ who strengthen me 6 Concept Not alone 3 Keywords Gives strength 2 Minor switch You can do all things 0.6 Paraphrase All things through God 0.5
  11. 11. 2. Concept
  12. 12. BG Path Analysis for [strength] Reference Text % Exod 15:2 The LORD is my strength and my defense… 2.17 Isa 40:31 …will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles… 1.27 Eph 3:16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you… 1.26 Ps 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield… 1.22 Phil 4:13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. 1.04 Reference Text % Phil 4:13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. 17.5 Deut 31:6 Be strong and courageous… 11.7 Deut 20:4 The LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you… 10.4 1 Cor 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common… 5.38 Eccl 4:12 A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. 3.15 Topical Bible Entries for [strength]
  13. 13. 3. Named Entity
  14. 14. Types of Named Entities Other Group Jesus God Place Person
  15. 15. 4. Story
  16. 16. Types of Story Queries Synecdoche Section Longer tail queries %ofQueryType
  17. 17. Improving Story-Level Results For sections, use existing headings to improve recall from 48% to 63% Path analysis works well for synecdoche
  18. 18. Search Summary 1. Quote: exact word / phrase, similar verse, partial word / misspelling, concept, keyword, paraphrase 2. Concept: most-popular queries; use human intelligence 3. Named Entity: most commonly people 4. Story: use metadata
  19. 19. Browse
  20. 20. Old vs. New Testament Popularity Popularity Physical Length
  21. 21. Book Popularity Morepopular(log)
  22. 22. Chapter Popularity Morepopular(log)
  23. 23. Verse Popularity Morepopular(log)
  24. 24. Verse Popularity DistributionMorepopular(log) John 3:16 Num 7:51: “one young bull, one ram and one male lamb a year old for a burnt offering” Acts 27:6: “There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship sailing for Italy and put us on board.”
  25. 25. Passage Types 71% passage 29% search Single verse 21% Sub-chapter range 21% Chapter 53% Super-chapter range 2% Multiple passages 3%
  26. 26. Query Components Type Example Book Genesis Book Chapter Verse Genesis 1:2 Book Chapter Genesis 1 Book Verse Philemon 7 Chapter Verse 1:2 Chapter Ch 1 Verse Verse 2 Integer 3 Translation KJV And following… Genesis 1:2ff. Range Genesis 1:2-3 Sequence Genesis 1, 4
  27. 27. Ways to Spell “Genesis” 1. Genesis 2. Gen 3. Genisis 4. Gensis 5. Genises 6. Genisus 7. Gene 8. Genis 9. Ge 10. Geneses 11. Geneis 12. Genes 13. Genasis 14. Genesus 15. Genese 16. Genesi 17. Genius 18. Genisi 19. Genn 20. Gennises 21. Genise 22. Genessis 23. Genezis 24. Genenis 25. Geness 26. Geni 27. Gn 28. Genesia 29. Genesses …60 more
  28. 28. Geonosis
  29. 29. Geonosis
  30. 30. Corner Cases Query Problem Best Practice Genesis 1:5-3 Reversed range Gen.1.5,Gen.1.3 + error Genesis 49-51 End of range too high Gen.49-Gen.50 Psalm 121-22 Omitting digit Ps.121-Ps.122 1 John 1:2-3 John 2 Book name conflict 1John.1.2-3John.1.2 Philemon 1 Chapter-verse conflict Phlm.1 Philemon 1-2 Chapter-verse range conflict Phlm.1.1-Phlm.1.2 Matt 5,6 Localization Matt.5,Matt.6 Gen 315 Ambiguous reference Gen.3.15 Ma 2 Ambiguous book Matt.2
  31. 31. Ambiguous References 50% Gen 315 = Gen 3:15 or Gen 31:5? 97% of the time, it’s Gen 3:15
  32. 32. Ambiguous Book Names Ma 1:1 = Matthew 1:1, Mark 1:1, or Malachi 1:1? 50%
  33. 33. Translations
  34. 34. Traditional vs. Contemporary Language in English Bible Translations
  35. 35. %pageviews Section Section Popularity Varies by Translation Type
  36. 36. Summary 1. Four types of searches. 2. Concepts dominate most-popular queries; quotes dominate the long tail. 3. Seven search strategies to find verses. 4. Optimize for the New Testament. 5. Optimize for passage queries, especially contiguous passages. 6. Accept a variety of book names.
  37. 37. stephen.smith@biblegateway.com

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