Survey: People Largely Negative About Google’s Personalized Search Results

by   |

Last month, market research tool provider Ask Your Target Market surveyed 400 US adults about their attitudes toward personalized search on Google. The results were reported today in eMarketer’s email newsletter. We went back to the source to check out the survey and discovered that the majority of respondents expressed ambivalence or outright dissatisfaction about Google’s new more personalized search results.

The first question asked was about the primary search engine used by respondents.

Primary search engine:

Source: AYTM, n=400 (1/12)

Then the survey explored respondents’ attitudes toward search personalization and Google+ participation.

Do you like the idea of personalizing search results based on past searches and info from your social networking sites?

Source: AYTM, n=400 (1/12)

A minority said yes (15.5 percent) they liked search personalization. But a clear majority were ambivalent or hostile to the idea (84.5 percent). Within that majority 45 percent said they did not want search results personalized at all. Of the three types of responses the “nos” were the dominant category.

There were two other survey questions fielded by AYTM about Google+:

  • Do you use Google+?
  • Would you be more likely to use Google+ if you knew you would get more tailored search results?

To the first question (Do you use it?) 19.3 percent responded “yes,” and another 20.3 percent said they had accounts that were not really used. The other 60.4 percent said they did not have Google+ accounts or said that they didn’t know what it was.

In terms of whether more people would use Google+ if they knew it helped personalize their results, 7.5 percent said “yes” they would be more likely to use it. However 44.4 percent said “no” and 48.1 percent said “maybe.”

It’s important to point out that this is just one survey and it’s not clear how representative the survey population was of the entire US adult population. It’s also important to observe that people often react negatively to change. However these results, if they can be generalized, represent a pretty strong negative reaction to the new direction Google is headed.

Postscript From Danny Sullivan: I wanted to add that with a further follow-up, it probably would have been incredibly easy to turn the 45% who said “No, I think everyone should see the same results” into a much smaller number.

For example, if the question had been: “When searching for football, do you think Americans and Europeans should see the exact same results?,” that probably would have given respondents reason to think further about the advantages to personalization.

Of course, the personalization in that case tend to be geographically-based (Americans would be more likely to see NFL information; Europeans about local soccer teams). But there are other examples where past history and social connections can help. That’s one reason why Bing, just like Google, uses both factors.

My experience has been that no one seems positive about any company wanting to personalize things for them when you ask. I always put the blame on this to Amazon, because of that one purchase you make that Amazon assumes means you are completely interested in that product forever going forward.

In addition, I don’t think people like the idea that any company could somehow “figure them out” and somehow assume it could personalize things for them.

But emotion aside, personalization can help (and can hurt), and it’s all about getting the balance right. I’d highly recommend anyone interested in more to read a post from Google last year about why it does personalization, as well as “The Filter Bubble” from Eli Pariser, which takes a critical look at personalization in general. Also see SMX East Keynote: A Conversation With Eli Pariser.

The topic of personalization will also be covered in-depth at our upcoming SMX West search marketing conference in San Jose Feb. 28-March 1, in these sessions:

Related Topics: Featured | Google: Google+ | Google: Privacy | Google: Search CustomizationGoogle: Search Plus Your World | Top News

About The Author:  is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him@gsterling

Lo importante es el camino que recorremos, las metas son apenas el resultado de ese recorrido. Llegar generalmente significa, volver a empezar!

Tagged with: , , , , , ,
Publicado en
10:00 am to 05:00 pm | Mon-Fri
+5411 4954.0022 / +54 911 6259.7231
Gabriel Catalano

febrero 2012
« ene   mar »

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Únete a otros 6.188 seguidores

Being Your Brand

Branding and Strategy for Business and Life

Cruces, Sol y La Imaginación

Cuando la imaginación y la creatividad suman infinito


el mundo del marketing se activa para ti


fanzine bejarano de historietas hecho en los 80

A Stairway To Fashion


Vinod833's Blog

This site is the bee's knees

Apasionada de las Redes Sociales

Compartir conocimientos 2.0 y Marketing Online

Zona de Promesas

Blog de Tecnología en Español - Internet - Redes Sociales - Entrepreneurship - Innovación

Top Master | Blog


La realidad alterna

Poesías, relatos, diario de sueños


Startup and Technology News

Unencumbered by Facts

Taking unsubstantiation to new levels

Carlos Cordero

Blog de tecnología

PsicoEmocions Blog

Un Pont entre la Psique i les Emocions



Comunicación & Marketing

De Lilian Lanzieri


Dirección estratégica para la vida

Silvia Altamirano

Writing, English to Spanish

StellarHIRE Partners

Founding Partner, StellarHire Partners - Executive Search Consultants. Recent engagements include Eloqua, SFDC, Tibco and Veeam.

ivanbrunpr's Blog

4 out of 5 dentists recommend this site

Matt on Not-WordPress

Stuff and things.


Noticias de Tecnologia.

T a l e n t o  en  E x p a n s i ó n

Gestión de personas para las organizaciones líderes de la Era del Conocimiento

Two Leaves Tea SPAIN

Great Organic Tea! ✫✫✫✫✫ Te Organico en Piramides

Escuela de Dinero

El mejor Sitio en Español sobre lo básico para entender el Dinero y sus matemáticas relacionadas.

Intentando dejar huella...

...en cada uno de los visitantes

Ideas Para la

Portafolio de experiencias en la clase de español para Middle School.

Little Grey Box

Travel & Intuitive Living

déborah rueda

Un sitio más pero diferente sobre marketing digital

No solo los 80's

La mejor música de la historia

Molly Balloon's Blog

Identity + Dressing + Colour

El OJO PUBLICO. / Глаз общественности

Ver para contar & contar para ver. / Чтобы рассказать

Think Creative Idea

Marketing, publicidad, web, stat ups, emprendedores

Social Media y más

Social Media, Redes Sociales, Marketing, SEO

The Coaching Alliance

El camino hacia el éxito

Luces y sombras de las marcas

Social Media, Marketing y Comunicación


Ultimas Noticias de Estados Unidos, Latinoamérica y el Mundo, Opinión y Videos

Erick Loveera

Mi Pasión en un Blog

Javier GM Photography - México y más.

“Un fotógrafo tiene que ser auténtico y en su obra, debe expresar emociones, provocar reacciones y despertar pasiones.” ~ Javier García-Moreno E.

Natalia Gómez del Pozuelo

Experta en comunicación y oratoria


Alimentación, ocio y negocios, ALOYN, es un Grupo dirigido a Directivos y Propietarios de empresas, interesados en el mundo de la industria de alimentación y bebidas. Tanto por la parte de la industria productora como por la parte de la industria consumidora y/o distribuidora (Distribución Comercial, Horeca, Vending, Venta Directa, etc). También nos interesan las actividades ligadas al agroturismo y el enoturismo como magníficas actividades de promoción y difusión de la cultura gastronómica.

Blog de Jack Moreno

Un blog de Joaquín Moreno sobre recursos, literatura y ciencia ficción


Ensalada de Manjares


Recibe cada nueva publicación en tu buzón de correo electrónico.

Únete a otros 6.188 seguidores

A %d blogueros les gusta esto: