L. Wang, C. Wang, X. Xie, J. Forman, Y. Lu, W. Ma, and Y. Li. Proceedings of the 28th annual international ACM SIGIR conference on Research and development in information retrieval, page 424--431. New York, NY, USA, ACM, (2005)
Accurately and effectively detecting the locations where search queries are truly about has huge potential impact on increasing search relevance. In this paper, we define a search query's dominant location (QDL) and propose a solution to correctly detect it. QDL is geographical location(s) associated with a query in collective human knowledge, i.e., one or few prominent locations agreed by majority of people who know the answer to the query. QDL is a subjective and collective attribute of search queries and we are able to detect QDLs from both queries containing geographical location names and queries not containing them. The key challenges to QDL detection include false positive suppression (not all contained location names in queries mean geographical locations), and detecting implied locations by the context of the query. In our solution, a query is recursively broken into atomic tokens according to its most popular web usage for reducing false positives. If we do not find a dominant location in this step, we mine the top search results and/or query logs (with different approaches discussed in this paper) to discover implicit query locations. Our large-scale experiments on recent MSN Search queries show that our query location detection solution has consistent high accuracy for all query frequency ranges.