Euro Conference On IR Recapped

What? You didn’t make the European Conference on Information Retrieval in
London this week? Don’t fret. Xan Porter did and has a

rundown
here, with one interesting paper from Microsoft Research on how key
terms appearing in a URL can be used to predict if a page has a good answer.
It’s something MSN plans test more on "real" web data from MSN in the future. I
suspect the method might not be so useful then. Indeed, MSN Search’s quality
already seems to struggle with the old school search engine method of favoring
URLs with search terms in them, an easy thing to manipulate. I can’t find a free
link to the actual paper. If one turns up, we’ll postscript.

Postscript: Reader Dean Rowan writes that you’ll find the Microsoft
paper

here
(PDF format). However, it’s only accessible to those with
SpringerLink subscriptions.