Recently we implemented Google Analytics to track usage of our digital collections. Sean has already contributed several great posts about our digital collections use statistics, but one thing I find particularly interesting (and amusing) is that Google Analytics allows us to see the types of keywords our users are entering into Google, Yahoo, and other search engines, and where those keywords lead them in our digital collections.
Not surprisingly, some search queries are common and reveal the subject strengths of our digital collections. For example, the top three queries that bring users to our collections are “sheet music,” “ad access,” and “history of advertising.”
After scanning through thousands of these search queries, several distinct categories emerge: the known-item query (an exact title in quotes), the URL as query (e.g. http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/adaccess/), and the format query (e.g. “diaries” or “manuscripts”), among others. The most entertaining category, however, is the query issued in the form of a question.
Below are some of the important questions our users have asked with links to where they’ve found answers to those questions in our digital collections.
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