Thursday, February 26, 2004

What people want from search Google tops the search charts | CNET

Google tops the search charts | CNET "Google started off the year as king of the hill among search engines, even as No. 2 Yahoo gears up to reclaim the throne.
In January, 39 percent of active Internet surfers--or 59.3 million unique viewers--used Google to do searches, while the search tools at Yahoo and MSN attracted approximately 30 percent each, according to data released by Nielsen/NetRatings on Monday. Yahoo had 45.7 million unique users, and MSN, 44.6 million. "

"When conducting a search, people seemed to value relevance over accuracy

In the survey, 52 percent of respondents said that the thing they valued most in a search engine was the ability to find relevant information

while 34 percent said they were looking to get credible results

An even one-third said they wanted to get results quickly

Lesser considerations were the interface's ease of use and whether the search engine has a 'cool' design."

ResourceShelf: "ay, February 24, 2004" comments

These numbers could be used to illustrate many issues including:
1) The "principle of least effort" that Thomas Mann wrote about pre-web is alive and well. No surprise.
2) People don't know where to turn for more credible info or how to use a web engine, analyze web content, or create a more precise search that might avoid certain types of sites.
3) Finally, as Jenny pointed out in a chat, survery participants assumed that if it's relevant, it must also be credible. Regardless, it's sad.

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