Purpose - This study aims to examine the differences between web image and textual queries. Design/methodology/approach - A large number of web queries from image and textual search engines were analysed and compared based on their factual characteristics, query types, and search interests. Findings - Useful results include the findings that web users tend to input short queries when searching for visual or textual information; that image requests have more zero hits and higher specificity, and contain more refined queries; that web image requests are more focused than textual requests on some popular search interests, and that the variety of textual queries is greater than that of image requests. Originality/value - This study provides results that may enhance one's understanding of web-searching behaviour and the inherent implications for the improvement of current web image retrieval systems.
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