Searching for Better Results: A Guide to Search Engine Evaluation

In this fast-paced digital age, the difference between you and your competitors can be a simple search. Learn why search engine evaluation is vital to success.

Published on April 19, 2023
Last Updated on April 19, 2023

In this golden age of information, it’s easy to take for granted how we have an infinite supply of resources and content right at our fingertips. With a quick search on the internet, we can get the answer to virtually any question, anywhere, anytime.

Search engines help us navigate in a sea of content, skimming through tons and tons of irrelevant and useless information. Getting access to the most updated and relevant results on a search is crucial; this is where search engine evaluation comes in.

What is search engine evaluation?

what does a search engine evaluator do

Search evaluation or search engine evaluation is the process of measuring the accuracy, relevance, and quality of the results of a web search engine. It helps improve user experience by providing insights about the search engine results of your business and lets you figure out how to increase its effectiveness. A search engine evaluator evaluates the relevance and quality of search engine results. They can help an algorithm understand how real people look for information and which results are relevant to their search. Evaluation criteria in the process include:

what is a search engine evaluator

Businesses can use evaluation results to improve ranking algorithms, indexing methods, and other aspects of the search engine.

The goal of search engine evaluation at the end of the day is to provide faster, more accurate, and more relevant results, continually improving the user’s search experience.

Why is web search evaluation important in machine learning?

Search algorithms rely on AI training data to improve search relevance and accuracy. Web search evaluation services feed these algorithms with large quantities of human-labeled training data to further refine search results over time.

By regularly conducting search engine evaluations, search engines can progressively improve their algorithms and provide better user experiences. This improvement helps increase user satisfaction and trust, which can drive more traffic to a business’ website, generating more awareness and income.

Practically speaking, improving your search engine makes it easier for customers to find the services or products they want to purchase, which can directly increase your revenue.

What does a web search evaluator do?

Web search evaluation is usually handled by human annotators, also known as web search evaluators, who understand how web search engines work well. The primary role of a web search evaluator is to assess the quality of search results in relation to user queries. Depending on project needs, a web search evaluator will run queries and analyze search results based on parameters like accuracy, quality, usefulness, and more.  

For example, they may analyze search results for ‘scuba diving in Bali’ and measure if the search results match the given term. They also determine if the recommendations are correct and provide feedback accordingly.

What are the different types of search engine evaluation services?

Each search engine evaluation service serves a different purpose. Finding the right one for your business will depend on factors like the nature of your business and its specific goals. Let’s take a look at a few examples.

Whole Page Evaluation

Whole Page Evaluation - Evaluates the performance and search results of the entire webpage against a user’s query and competitors’ results. It takes into account all of a web page’s components and how they interact with each other. Typically more in-depth compared to other types of search engine evaluation.

Side-by-Side Evaluation

Side-by-Side Evaluation - Assesses and compares a pair of fetched search results to determine relevance and deploy model updates. Used to identify similarities, differences, and areas for improvement.

Ads Evaluation

Ads Evaluation - Analyzes the relevance of ad search results and landing pages against the given query and intent of the customers. Factors such as ad copy, targeting, placement, and conversion rate may be considered.

Search Result Evaluation

Search Result Evaluation - Tests and measures the search engine algorithms against the most common queries to evaluate their accuracy and search relevance. Consider different factors such as individual page and website ranking, descriptions and snippets' accuracy, and search results quality.

Ridiculously Good Results

Web search evaluation can involve large data sets, changing algorithms, and training data. In this digital age, having a well-tuned search engine can easily be the difference between you making a sale or not.

The search relevance process can’t be fully automated; you’ll need the human touch—the expertise and experience of certified professionals- to continually engineer and enhance your search engine. Additionally, you may need supplementary solutions such as AI services (e.g., chatbots) to fully optimize your business's web presence.

Fortunately, you won’t need to look all these up. We can handle them and design a plan specifically for you.

Recognized by the Everest Group as the World’s Fastest Business Process (outsourcing) Service Provider and highly rated in the Gartner Peer Insights Review, TaskUs is more than equipped to implement practical search engine evaluation with you. We have brought positive change within and outside our organization by delivering world-class solutions, increasing client satisfaction, and enhancing employee experiences for over a decade in the outsourcing industry.

Interested in search evaluation services?


Cedric Wagrez
Vice President, ML Tech and Market Expansion
20 years experience in the tech industry and 5+ years in the AI field, from data collection and annotation to applied AI.