Key findings include:
- The distribution of search queries is “very flat,” with more than 95% of queries having been “used just 1 time”
- “Many of these search terms are extremely specific”
- Problem solving appears to motivate many queries
- “Some of these search terms return results that would not otherwise yield useful results from the official Code of Virginia website,” in part because Virginia Decoded returns court decisions that interpret a statute, along with the text of the statute (and he offers an interesting example involving a statute that has been subject to constitutional challenge)
- Visit duration is approximately 90 seconds
- Visitors view an average of “2.68 pages”
Mr. Jaquith concludes:
The plan [of The State Decoded] was to turn entire state codes into enormous targets for search traffic to help people solve problems and better understand the laws that govern them. Traffic records bear out that at least the former half of that plan is being fulfilled. That accomplished, I can concentrate more on the latter, which was always going to be the real work.
For more information, please see the complete post.
Tags: Legal information behavior, Legal information needs, Legal information retrieval, Legal information seeking, Legal problem solving, Legal research on the Internet, Legal search queries, Motivations for legal information seeking, Public access to legal information, State Decoded, The State Decoded, Use of the Internet for legal research, Virginia Decoded, Waldo Jaquith, Web search logs in legal informatics research, Web traffic data in legal informatics research