Nuggets: Real or Fake Gold?

January 10, 2011

Xoogler Daniel Tunkelang wrote a short item back linking to his earlier write up about information nuggets. You may want to take a look at “Exploring Nuggetize”. The illustration shows how the “nugget” method converts Noisy Channel articles into what are digital Post It notes with the key points extracted from the source. In the “Exploring Nuggetize” article there are references to facets, snippets, and search.

The key point in “Exploring Nuggetize” in my opinion was:

The nuggets are full sentences, and thus feel quite different from conventional search-engine snippets. Conventional snippets serve primarily to provide information scent, helping users quickly determine the utility of a search result without the cost of clicking through to it and reading it. In contrast the nuggets are document fragments that are sufficiently self-contained to communicate a coherent thought. The experience suggests passage retrieval rather than document retrieval.

Overall I am okay with the notion of nuggets and the highlighting of Dhiti and its Dive service. You can learn more about both at

What caught my attention was the response by Dhiti in the comments section to the follow on write up “Enabling Exploratory Search with Dhiti”. The question Dhiti answered was related to the user’s behavior when the Dhiti “nuggetizing” widget is implemented on a blog.

Here’s the comment. Please, check the original here because I have trimmed the remarks for this post. Emphasis added by Beyond Search as well:

We [Dhiti] observe the following patterns…:

1) The widget does contribute to increased engagement. We see about 5-10% of readers “interact” with the widget, either to click through on an article… About 60% of the interactions are clicks on articles.

2) We notice that there’s a higher probability of readers reading the articles fully than normal…

3) We observe search referrals interact a lot more with the widget…. So there is more likelihood for exploration.

4) When a search query brings traffic to a page, Users … want to explore the site more for the same query!

5) Through the pivots, the publisher gets to know what their readers [are] … interested to explore around….

6) The pivots also provide cues to the publisher to create reference pages (like Wikipedia) …

Several observations:

First, “nuggets” is probably the wrong metaphor for this type of “informed extraction.”

Second, the approach offers some useful opportunities to metrics about a blog reader’s behavior. My reaction was, “Ah, something more useful than AdSense clicks or traditional log files.”

Third, the company has a good idea, is small with “three co-founders,” and based in Bangalore. Good idea and I have a hunch some of the big outfits in the world of search may be thinking about this function.

Stephen E Arnold, January 10, 2011



3 Responses to “Nuggets: Real or Fake Gold?”

  1. Bharath on January 14th, 2011 1:51 am

    Thanks for your review.

    We have been using the term “nuggets” to specify that they are more than “snippets”, since there’s more to our analysis. You may have also noticed that we have moved away from emphasizing the nuggets, and talk more about exploration and discovery. We do term this as “informed navigation”.

    Your observation, [Second, the approach offers some useful opportunities to metrics about a blog reader’s behavior. My reaction was, “Ah, something more useful than AdSense clicks or traditional log files.”] is very encouraging. This has been our goal too! Publishers and readers deserve better than just clicks.

  2. Stephen E. Arnold on January 16th, 2011 2:29 pm


    Thanks for the comment. Up for a Search Wizards Speak interview.

    Stephen E Arnold, January 16, 2011

  3. Bharath on February 11th, 2011 2:02 am


    Thanks for the interview offer. I am interested. Let me know how you’d like it.


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