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Search Engine Users: Loyal or Blase?

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Searchers are loyal to their favorite search engine, and stubbornly stick with it even if they don't initially find what they're looking for, according to a new survey of web users.

Loyal or lazy? 56.7 percent of Internet users use the same search engine or directory when they are looking for information, according to a new iProspect Search Engine User Attitudes Survey.

Just 30% of web users have a few specific search engines they use on a regular basis. A scant 13% follow the advice that we frequently preach here at Search Engine Watch, using a different search engine depending on what they are looking for.

What are the favorites? No surprises here: Google has what iProspect calls a "loyalty rate" of 66 percent. Yahoo is next, at 55%, followed by MSN at 54% and AOL at 49 percent.

The survey also found that searchers are hardheaded, with more than 90% tweaking their query and using the same search engine after being dissatisfied with the first three pages of results returned by their initial search. iProspect says that this finding suggests that over time users have developed more confidence in their search engine of choice. Another possible interpretation is that searchers have simply become habituated, or are too lazy to try a different engine when their favorite doesn't measure up.

The survey found that nearly 50% percent of respondents have installed at least one search tool bar. The most popular was Yahoo's, with 22% share, followed by Google's at 20% and MSN's at 17 percent.

Yahoo Soul Search

Want to know what's in store for your future? Try the search terms my destiny at Yahoo, and all will be revealed at the very top of the result page. Click the "what's this" link for the top result if you're not sure what you're seeing.

A Conversation with Matt Wells

ACM Queue, Apr. 2004
http://www.acmqueue.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=printer_friendly&pid=135&page=1

Former Infoseek founder and CEO Steve Kirsch interviews ex-employee Matt Wells, who went on to create the Gigablast search engine. This is an interesting follow-up to SearchDay guest editor Gary Price's conversation with Matt from last September.

Search Headlines

NOTE: Article links often change. In case of a bad link, use the publication's search facility, which most have, and search for the headline.

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