Google has been making significant changes to how it handles search, but it’s not receiving much support for the outcome.
A recent survey by market research tool provider Ask Your Target Market found that only 15.5 of U.S. Internet users liked the idea of personalized search results. (See chart, below.) An additional 39.1 percent gave qualified approval, saying they would like personalize results but were concerned about the privacy implications.
But the most popular answer was no, with 45.4 percent of respondents, because they would prefer if everyone got the same search results for the same search terms.
Google will introduce its changes on March 1, after which search results will be personalized by including content from the user’s Google+ social network, such as photos, comments and links from their friends’ profiles.
AYTM’s survey was of a small group of U.S. Internet users, but it definitely should give Google some things to think about.
The study also asked respondents if they have a Google+ account, and 19.5 percent answered that they’d never even heard of it. About a fifth (20.3 percent) said they had an account but rarely used it, with nearly the same number (19.3 percent) saying they did use it. That leaves 40.9 percent who have heard of Google+ but who do not have an account.
AYTM Google Search study – http://tinyurl.com/7pay87z
Search Engine Land – Survey: People Largely Negative About Google’s Personalized Search Results (hat tip)
Marketing Pilgrim – Does Google Personalized Search Have You Concerned?
Booth photo by Flickr user jonlclark, used under Creative Commons license