Google tops the list as the most popular search engine. And while we are generally satisfied with the results that Google and other search engines, we are concerned about our privacy and wary of what information search engines keep track of.
In a survey taken during January and February of this year, Pew Internet found that Google was the preferred search engine for 83% of us. Yahoo was preferred by only 6%. That’s a huge change from 2004, when Pew last questioned people about which search engine they used most. Back then, just 47% were using Google, and 26% used Yahoo.
Pew’s analysis of the survey did not mention Microsoft’s search engine Bing.
Search engines scored highly in effectiveness. Overall. 91% of the respondents in the survey said they always or often find what they are seeking with a search engine. 73% said most or all of the info they find when searching is accurate and trustworthy. 66% consider search engines a fair and unbiased source for info.
But search engine users are concerned about privacy. 65% said it’s a bad thing if a search engine keeps track of a user’s past searches and uses that info to rank future results. Not everyone agreed that it is a bad thing though. 29% said using past searches to rank future results would be good because the engines would provide more personalized results.
Similar percentages were revealed when Pew asked respondents if they would be okay if search engines use past searches to improve the relevancy of future ads they are shown. 68 % said they were not okay with that. 28 % said they are okay with the more targeted advertising.
The survey was taken from January 20 to February 19 and included 2,253 adults age 18 and over.