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Pew on Search Engine Users


Interesting read for snowy days in Boston: The Pew Internet & American Life Project released a survey on Search Engine Users, concluding that “Internet searchers are confident, satisfied and trusting – but they are also unaware and na�ve.”

The report includes findings that I will use in my (overdue) paper on information quality and the Internet. Among the findings:

  • 89% of internet users under 30 years have used search engines.
  • One-third of searchers are “power users” that couldn’t live without search engines.
  • 44% of searchers say that most or all the information they search for online is critical, e.g. needed to accomplish an important task or answer an urgent question. (BTW, the report also explores when users don’t use search engines.)
  • 17% of searchers say they always find the information for which they are looking for. 87% of users say they have successful searches most of the time.
  • 44% of searchers regularly use a single search engine.
  • 68% of users say that search engines are a fair and unbiased source of information. However, only 38% of searchers are aware of a distinction between paid and unpaid search results.

Food for thought, I’d say.

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