Google Remains the Kingpin of Search

In Hot off the Press by Marius Badenhorst

Has the truckload of controversy circling Google’s latest privacy policy changes affected their search engine ranking? According to a survey conducted by Pew Internet and American Life Project, Google remains the kingpin of search and a firm favourite amongst UK and USA Internet users.

The ongoing concern about Google’s privacy policy has led to a lot of speculation as to whether it would affect the search engine’s popularity. A watershed moment, the analysis overview is garnering a lot of attention on Google news. Interestingly enough, the survey has revealed that out of the 3,154 people who took part; the majority were ‘NOT OKAY’ with search engines wanting to implement personalised search. Most users felt that this would limit their search results. Unsurprisingly, they also felt that it would be an invasion of privacy.

Another intriguing survey finding was that 68% of users did not like search engines using targeted advertising. The feedback given was that they didn’t want their online behaviour to be tracked and analysed.

With the direct reflection on public opinion regarding search engine practices nailed down, the Pew survey went on to analyse user search engine satisfaction. With 91% of the public being very pleased with search results, many people noted that they felt the information being highlighted by search engines were accurate, trustworthy and getting more relevant to boot. A somewhat obvious observation is that, ironically; the negative opinion mounting around personalised search and targeted advertising has in no way diminished user satisfaction.

While the hubbub surrounding the search engine’s privacy policy has not directly affected Google’s number 1 ranking, or even the wide margin that separates it from second place; it does shed light on the amount of sway held by the Google brand. Whether Google will turn into the first digital dictator of our time, or take heed of public opinion will ultimately determine the motives behind their latest policy endeavours.

About the Author

Marius Badenhorst