A majority of Americans oppose government regulation of search results on Google, Bing, and Yahoo, according to a new Rasmussen national telephone survey. Seventy-seven percent of adults said the government has no business regulating search engine results, while 11 percent were for it, and 12 percent were undecided.
Google has come under fire lately, with critics claiming Google’s search results are biased toward its own sites and unfairly funneling traffic to their own properties. Still, the survey of 740 adult users nationwide found that frequent web users are the least likely to think regulation is needed for search engine recommendations.
- Opposition of government regulation of search engine results was high among most demographics, with the exception of older Americans, who were less certain.
- Married Americans and those with children were more opposed to regulation than unmarried people and those who don’t live with children.
- Government employees were three times as likely to favor regulation.
Rating the Search Engines
The biggest problem users have with search engines? Irrelevant data, according to 70 percent of adults. Most feel that the engines return results fast enough.
Of those who go regularly go online, 89 percent rated the top search engines as “good” or “excellent” for finding the information they needed. Less than half a percent rated the search engines as “poor.”
Also, two-thirds of adults said they regularly get answers to their routine questions with the assistance of Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
Privacy was another top concern among respondents. Seventy-eight percent of adults said they were at least “somewhat concerned” about the privacy of their searches ; 40 percent were “very concerned”; and 22 percent weren’t very concerned, including 3 percent who weren’t at all concerned about privacy.
Men were more concerned than women, and older adults were more concerned than younger adults about search privacy.