Is search getting better or worse?

During our talk at the DLD conference last week some folks questioned a study I referenced about trust is search going down. I think I may have mangled the quote saying that 60% didn’t trust search up from 50%, but in fact the question was done in reverse (but similar percentage and same drop). More from TechCrunch.

  • “A higher percentage of Internet users reported negative views about the reliability and accuracy of information provided by search engines, such as Google. Slightly over half of Internet users — 51 percent — said that most or all of the information produced by search engines is reliable and accurate — down from the 62 percent who reported the same response in 2006.”

Additionally, another search report came out late last year that reinforce the frustrating user experience with search results being, well, “challenging.” The report was done by Kelton for Autobytel which released their results in sync with their automotive vertical search engine (which does make the results potentially biased in my mind).

  • 72.3 percent of Americans experience “search engine fatigue” (either “always,” “usually,” or “sometimes”) when researching a topic on the Internet.
  • 65.4 percent of Americans say they’ve spent two or more hours in a single sitting searching for specific information on search engines.
  • More than three out of four (75.1 percent) of those who experience search engine fatigue report getting up and physically leaving their computer without the information they were seeking – either “always,” “usually” or “sometimes.
  • “When asked to name their #1 complaint about the process (of search), 25 percent cited a deluge of results, 24 percent cited a predominance of commercial (paid) listings, 18.8 percent blamed the search engine’s inability to understand their keywords (forcing them to try again), and 18.6 percent were most frustrated by disorganized/random results.

Here is a last study on search trust that I’m still digesting.


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