Introduction. We aim to discover the associations between social tags for a Web page and Web queries that would retrieve the same Webpage in three major search engines.

Method. 4,827 query terms were submitted to the three major search engines to acquire search engine results pages. A series of Perl scripts were written to read search engine results pages and to identify, analyse, and extract organic links

Analysis. Web pages from the organic links in search engine results pages were examined to see whether and how they had been tagged in Delicious. Only the Webpages tagged by at least 100 taggers were included in this study. The top thirty popular social tags used were harvested. The two sets of data were quantitatively analysed to investigate the research questions.

Results. At least 60% of search engines' query terms overlapped with social tags in Delicious; higher ranked social tags were more likely to be used as query terms for the same Web resources; and the co-occurring pattern of query terms and social tags over social ranking resembled a power law distribution.

Conclusions. Socially tagged resources are likely to be highly ranked in search engine results pages. The findings can be applicable to the future study of Web resource related tasks such as Web searching and Web indexing.

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Published in Information Research, v. 17, no. 3.

© the author, 2012.

This article is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).