Every day I give thanks to the people who invented and perfected the search engine. No exaggeration, Google search has changed the way I move through my day. I use it to find news to write about. I use it to find a place to buy lunch. I use it to save money at the grocery store. I just used it a second ago to find a recipe for dinner. Almost every move I make in a day, begins or ends with a search. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing, bad thing, or horribly obsessive thing – but it’s true.
According to Levelwing, 91% of online adults use a search engine and they almost always find what they’re looking for.
86% of people say search engines help them increase their knowledge. Half found something they never thought they’d find. (Try looking up some obscure memory from your childhood.) But for some people, too much of a good thing isn’t wonderful (sorry Liberace). 38% said they were overwhelmed by the search results and 34% said critical information was missing.
The toughest one is the 41% who found conflicting information. This is worse than finding no information at all and it happens all the time. One wrong note on Wikipedia will show up on hundreds of websites and there’s no fixing that.
What are people searching for? Levelwing has a graphic for that, too.
And though many of us are searching for the same information on the same day – like a list of who won the Emmy’s last night, 16% of Google search queries have never been asked before. I’d love to see a list of those questions. I’d bet they’re extremely odd and entertaining.
One last weird demographic: moms conduct twice the number of online searches as non-moms. I imagine that’s because when you become a parent, you’re suddenly saddled with thousands of decisions that relate to the health and well-being of your child. It’s a game changer.
Overall, it looks like search engines are doing a great job delivering the answers people are looking for. The fault lies in the content producers who are putting up misinformation. That’s something we all need to work on going forward.
Would you care to share? What’s the oddest query you’ve ever typed into a search engine?