The following terms are used in the SeaUrchin.IO dashboard. This glossary aims to define and clarify these terms.

Click Position

Index of the search result clicked. Ordering is determined by the top and left offset of each displayed search result.

Examples of position ordering (each number represents a search result):

1 2 3

1 2 3
4 5 6
7 8 9

Click-through Rate (CTR)

Ratio of searches with least one result click to total searches. Measured on a scale from 0 to 1.

Clicks per Search

Ratio of result clicks to searches. This number can exceed 1 if users are clicking multiple results per search.

Direct Hits Rate

Ratio of searches resulting in a direct hit (landing on the item page without seeing a list of search results).

Searches resulting in a direct hit are excluded from CTR and MRR calculations.

Dwell Time

Time spent viewing downstream result pages per search. If multiple result pages are opened in new tabs, only time spent on the active tab is counted.


Time spent waiting for search results. The timing mechanism depends on the search method detected by SeaUrchin.IO:

Search MethodStart TimeEnd Time
Form Submitperformance.timing.fetchStartperformance.timing.responseEnd
AJAX RequestAJAX openAJAX onreadstatechange (ready state 4)
JSONP APIscript createscript load

Mean Reciprocal Rank (MRR)

The Reciprocal Rank (RR) information retrieval measure calculates the reciprocal of the rank at which the first relevant document was retrieved. RR is 1 if a relevant document was retrieved at rank 1, if not it is 0.5 if a relevant document was retrieved at rank 2 and so on. When averaged across queries, the measure is called the Mean Reciprocal Rank (MRR).

Note: For SeaUrchin.IO's tracking purposes, the "first relevant document" is defined as the result with the highest click position clicked by the user per query.


Refinement Rate

Ratio of searches followed by a new query within 15 seconds, without any clicks on the first set of results.

Search Attempt

A search attempt consists of one or more sequential queries captured for a single user in a defined search flow. A search attempt ends when one of the following conditions occurs:

  • The query changes to a different string (as defined by edit distance > 3).
  • 30 seconds has passed since the last search event performed by that user.

Search Flow

A search flow describes a search interaction designed to help users find something they're looking for on a site. It usually consists of a search query submitted to a server-side API, the display of the subsequent results (if any), and the user's actions after being presented with those results.

Instructions on how to define a search flow for proper data capture can be found here.

Zero-hits Rate

Ratio of total searches resulting in no displayed results. This metric does not include direct hits.

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