Yandex Optimizes Search Results for Misspelled Queries

Internet, September 2, 2011. Yandex has optimized search results for misspelled user queries. Now, in response to some misspelled searches the system’s users in Russia see results for both the corrected and the original versions of their query.

Yandex launched automated search term correction in 2008. Some search terms that appear to be incorrect, however, can be quite valid. So, according to Yandex’ search term stats, the majority of users searching for [рамбер] ramber expect to find Rambler, a Russian web portal. There are also those, however, who want to find information about the English choreographer and ballet dancer Мари Рамбер (Marie Rambert). To meet the search expectations of both groups of users, Yandex returns search results for both interpretations of the query and shows them on the same page.

“Users make typos in their search queries for all sorts of reasons, some may just spell words as they sound, while others may be typing too fast and missing keys or simply forgetting to switch the keyboard’s layout. What we need to know is what the person typing their search query really wants, so that we can give them the right answer,” says Denis Raskovalov, head of Search Quality Development at Yandex. “According to our own metrics, the newly optimized search results for misspelled queries significantly improves our search quality.”

According to Yandex stats, about 12% of search queries on Yandex have typos and spelling mistakes. One of the most frequently misspelled Russian words is ‘одноклассники’ odnoklassniki (classmates) with over 17,000 spelling variations currently registered in Yandex’s search history.

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Vladimir Isaev, Ochir Mandzhikov
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