Do People Trust Search Results?
Ask most people who are interested in SEO what their goals are, and they’ll tell you that they want to rank higher on the search results. They may care about sites like Bing or Yahoo, but they’re generally focused on Google, the industry leader. They may state something about how most people never click beyond the first page of search results and so they want to get to that first page.
This all makes sense and it is the focus of a lot of SEO. You want that high ranking. You want the exposure that it provides. But you do need to stop and ask yourself how impactful that exposure really is. In particular, you need to know if people trust the search results that they get. This determines how effective it actually is to rank so highly.
An Age Gap
The good news is that most people who use Google do trust the search results. They believe that Google will do a solid job of providing them relevant options that are useful for their purposes and that relate to the search terms that they used. This means that your high ranking is worth it. Getting onto the first page of the results not only gives you more exposure, but it can automatically make your site appear more valuable and legitimate to the reader -- before they even click on it -- due strictly to the fact that Google recommended it.
There is, however, an age gap. Among the smaller group who were more skeptical of search engines like Google, researchers noticed that many were “older searchers.” This generation may be less likely to give a site the same perceived value based strictly on the results.
Why is this? There are many potential reasons. The older generations did not grow up with the internet and may be more skeptical of the entire process. They may feel like the results are being manipulated because, outside of typing in a few keywords, they may feel like they’re not really in control of what they see. Overall, younger searchers who have had Google for as long as they can remember are more comfortable with it and more likely to trust it.
Preparing for the Future
Really, this is a natural process. There is always some level of distrust surrounding new technology, and it generally fades with time. As the years go by, odds are that we will see even greater percentages of the population trust and make use of search results. This means that SEO is going to be more important than ever. Contact us to learn more about how you can take advantage of this.