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Survey Says! People Hate Google's Targeted Search Results

google targeted search

According to a survey conducted by AskYourTargetMarket, people aren't so keen on Google's decision to force targeted search results on their users. Of the 400 people that responded to the survey, roughly 66% said they "always" or "mostly" use Google as opposed to other search engines. About 15% said they "sometimes" use Google, while over 17% said they "always" use other search engines.

Despite their loyalty to Google, many users are downright miffed about the company's targeted search results, which are generated based on their previous activity in addition to typical SEO factors.

When asked whether they like the "idea of personalized search results," a whopping 45% of respondents said "no," and that "everyone should see the same results when searching the same keywords." Another 39% said "yes," but had major concerns about their personal privacy. In the end, only 15% of those surveyed said they like personalized search results without any qualifications.

Why All the Hate?

The first reason why people dislike Google's personalized search results is likely because, overall, we're resistant to change. Just look, for example, at how people complain en masse every time Facebook implements major changes, and how their membership numbers continue to grow by the millions despite this.

The second reason has implications that are somewhat scarier for Google. People are beginning to realize that targeted search results not only potentially infringe on their privacy, but diminish the effective size and scope of the internet. Quite simply, there's nothing worse than using a search engine - the only tool at your disposal to truly navigate the internet - and feeling like certain sites and pages are out of your reach, simply because of Google's assessment of your "typical behavior."

The Takeaway for Site Owners and Bloggers

So, what do these survey results mean for you? They mean that you should always remember that Google is far from the only player in the search engine world, and that users will eventually search for alternatives once their frustration levels reach critical mass.

Plus, big players like AOL, Yahoo! and Bing aren't the only competitors out there. DuckDuckGo, a fledgling startup search engine founded in 2009, is growing exponentially and recently surpassed 1 million queries in one day. Although that figure is paltry in comparison to Google (which handles more than 1 billion searches per day), it makes you wonder why anyone is bothering with DuckDuckGo instead of the traditional giant.

The reason? DuckDuckGo prioritizes privacy and does not track your activity. Although it's rather bare-bones in terms of features and options, many users are obviously willing to forgo bells and whistles in favor of non-personalized search results.

Mike Quayle

Posted on 15th February, 2012 by Mike Quayle

About Mike Quayle

Mike Quayle is a SEO, content writer, and marketer from Seattle, Washington.

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