Role & performance of search engines, average users have
negative views of personalized search results and targeted ads.
Search engines remain popular and users are more satisfied than ever with the quality of search Results but many are anxious about the collection of personal information by search engines and other websites. Most search users disapprove of personal information being collected for search results or for targeted advertising.
- 68% say I’m NOT OKAY with targeted advertising because I don’t like having my online behavior tracked and analyzed.
- 28% say I’m OKAY with targeted advertising because it means I see advertisements and get information about things I’m really interested in
Source: PEW Internet
Most search users say they are confident in their own search abilities, and find what they are looking for most of the time. More than half of search users (56%) say they are very confident in their search skill, while only 6% say they are not too or not all confident. And the vast majority of search users report being able to find what they are looking for always (29%) or most of the time (62%)
Google continues to rule the list of most used search engines. Asked which search engine they use most often, 83% of search users say Google. The next most cited search engine is Yahoo, mentioned by just 6% of search users. When we last asked this question in 2004, the gap between Google and Yahoo was much narrower, with 47% of search users saying Google was their engine of choice and 26% citing Yahoo.
Fairly large majorities of search engine users express faith in these apparatus and the results they produce. Not only does a bulk believe that search engines are fair and unbiased, they also believe that most results are precise and reliable. And most say that the quality and relevance of search results has been improving over time or has not changed, while very small number of see the quality and relevance of results declining. There continues to be widespread faith in search results, and perceptions of fairness and unfairness have not changed at all over the past eight years.
Roughly two-thirds of searchers (66%) say search engines are a fair and unbiased source of information. In 2004, 68% of search users said that search engines were a fair and unbiased source of information.