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S.O.S.: The SERP Optimization Suite
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S.O.S.: The SERP Optimization Suite


Over the past 20 years, search engines have become the entry point of the WWW. Due to evolving needs for different and new kinds of information, the interfaces of search engine results pages (SERPs) change over time. Thus, their usability must be continuously evaluated to ensure user satisfaction and competitive edge. As no complete solution exists, we present S.O.S.: the SERP Optimization Suite. Our approach comprises (a) WaPPU, which is a near real-time tool for evaluating web interfaces based on usability scores, and (b) a catalog of best practices that maps bad scores to potential causes and corresponding adjustments for optimization. During a case study in which we assessed and optimized a real-world SERP, S.O.S. has proven its feasibility and effectiveness by significantly improving the SERP's usability.


  • Maximilian Speicher, Andreas Both, and Martin Gaedke (2014). "S.O.S.: Does Your Search Engine Results Page (SERP) Need Help?" In: Proc. CHI. 🏆 Best Paper Honorable Mention Award. Electronic Edition | Full Text


This repository contains:

  • in the folder find-phase:
    • The first version of the catalog of best practices, compiled from reviews of existing SERPs.
  • in the folder fix-phase:
    • The revised catalogs, as adjusted by ten dediated experts.
  • in the folder verify-phase:
    • The anonymized reviews of another ten experts who approved/rejected the adjustments made during the 'Fix' phase.
    • The final version of the catalog based on the applied find-fix-verify pattern [1].

For information and resources related to the WaPPU tool--which is a part of S.O.S.--please refer to this repository.


  1. Michael S. Bernstein, Greg Little, Robert C. Miller, Björn Hartmann, Mark S. Ackerman, David R. Karger, David Crowell, and Katrina Panovich. 2010. "Soylent: a word processor with a crowd inside". In Proceedings of the 23nd annual ACM symposium on User interface software and technology (UIST '10). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 313-322. DOI=10.1145/1866029.1866078


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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