Internet users are confused by search algorithms and results that do not match the query

At the end of 2019, BrandVerity interviewed more than a thousand Americans to understand how consumers navigate search engines, Search Engine Watch reports.

Study revealed that Americans have a poor understanding of how search engines work. Only 37% of respondents know that search results are classified by relevance and cost of advertising. 


“Oversight of paid search programs is more important than ever for brands today”

                        Dave Naffziger, CEO of Brandverity


63% of respondents either have no idea how the system works or expect search results are categorized by either one of those (relevance or spend). 

Another 31% doubt that search engines (for example, Google) do a good job of labeling advertisement links properly. 

Consumers feel misled by the websites they find in the search engine results

For these reasons, users often click on the first result, believing that this is the most relevant option — 54% of respondents trust websites located at the top of search results more.

Finally, 51% of Internet users often go to “unscrupulous” websites when searching and feel cheated. So, 25% of respondents say that they often encounter information that does not meet their needs.

«[As] consumers have increasingly high expectations of the brands they do business with, and are holding them to equally high standards, companies must ensure that the entirety of the experiences they provide meet customer expectations,” says CEO of Brandverity Dave Naffziger. “As these findings show, a general uncertainty of how search engines work, combined with the significant occurrence of poor online experiences, mean oversight of paid search programs is more important than ever for brands today.”

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