12 Minutes To Search Rage

12 Minutes To Search Rage

By Danny Sullivan
From The Search Engine Report
Jan. 3, 2001

How long is too long until searching the web drives you crazy? Apparently, 12 minutes, according to a new survey commissioned by search engine WebTop.com.

The survey found that 71 percent of Internet users say they get frustrated when searching, and it takes about 12 minutes, on average, for them to feel this search rage.

The 12 minutes figure is actually a very good benchmark for anyone to use. Search engines are wonderful tools, but everything you are looking for is not on the web. If you've been searching for about 10 minutes, consider some more "traditional" alternatives. For example, consult an informational professional, such as a librarian. Or, looking for a company's web site and still had no luck? Pick up that magical device called a telephone, call directory assistance and get the company's phone number -- then ask them for their web address.

The survey also found that 86 percent of users thought searching could be made more efficient, and that more than one-third of users (36 percent) spend more than 2 hours per week searching the web.

My favorite statistic was that 46 percent of users said that finding wrong information is frustrating. So, does that mean the other 54 percent don't mind getting incorrect results? More likely, it's just that most people expect that web searches will not be perfect, I suspect.

The survey was conducted from July 27 to August 1, 2000 by Roper Starch Worldwide and involved 566 adults, interviewed by telephone.

WebTop Search Rage Study
More detailed report on the study, with new figures that were made available, after this article was written.