Google: Internet Search Behaviour Is Changing


by Martina Takewa — A shift in user behaviour is going on in the internet search industry. Web search is increasingly getting competition from Social Media. Although mistakenly, many users seem to believe they could come up with equally useful search results by skipping the search engines and “searching” within social media sites like Facebook or Twitter instead.

This is not to say that the major contender out there is the way to go. Still, a Search should be done using a real search tool developed for this task and not some toy-style “solution”.

Facebook’s search is built a different way. EdgeRank, Facebook’s search algorithm is manipulated heavily towards prioritising those results that are, in some way and with decreasing priority in line with proximity, connected to the particular user doing that “search”. In Facebbok’s case, this is understandable and may even be useful, for users want to find “results” based on what their contacts and Friends or Followers do.

Skewing results that way does not bode well with “serious” search jobs though. Still, that is exactly what Google is increasingly doing, too, thereby undermining the overall usefulness of internet searches — at least for that protion (the majority) that is done through Google. By re-arranging what is showed to users based on external information, dubiously harvested from cookie information which is part of Google Analytics by violating user privacy at that, Google has — deservedly — lost credibility and, thus, shot itself in the knee.

It should also be noted, however, that beyond Google there are other search engines out there doing a better and more honest job.