LoyaltyAffectOnWebSearchBehavior - How Does Loyalty Affect...

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1 How Does Loyalty Affect Web Search Behavior? Hrönn Brynjarsdóttir Department of Design and Environmental Analysis Cornell University h47@cornell.edu Maya Haridasan Department of Computer Science Cornell University mh329@cornell.edu Ling Xia Department of Communication Cornell University lx33@cornell.edu ABSTRACT Accessing information on the Internet has increasingly become a challenge because of the vast amount of information available. Search engines provide the functionality essential to filtering and locating information, and therefore, have the power of controlling which information on the web is most accessed and made available to users. This control can be explored by different companies in many ways, and studying how much users trust specific search engines can help understand user behavior and susceptibility to manipulated results when using search engines. In this paper we present a methodology to evaluate and compare users’ trust and loyalty in the Google and Yahoo! web search engines, the two currently most popular web search engines. Eye-tracking techniques are proposed as a tool for these studies. Hypotheses concerning trust and loyalty in the context of web search are presented. Author Keywords Eye tracking, Search engine, web page viewing, user behavior ACM Classification Keywords H5.m. Information interfaces and presentation (e.g., HCI): Miscellaneous. INTRODUCTION Nowadays, it seems almost impossible to parse all the information available on the Internet without the use of efficient search engines. The widespread use of search engines indicates their importance, and usually ranks behind only email use as the most popular activity online [18]. Therefore, the impact and relevance of small improvements to the quality of information retrieval is much larger compared to any other application for the Internet. It is commonly known that Google, in recent years, has benefited from being in the leading position on the search engine market. However, even though there has been controversy as to how popularity of web search engines can be measured [8], and despite discrepancies between presented results, different reports have indicated that Google does not have a safe lead. For example, in a report for the month of July of 2005 conducted by Nielsen/NetRatings , Google holds 46.2% of the share, while Yahoo! holds 22.5% and MSN Search holds 12.5% [17]. In another report presented by comScore Media Metrix, Google ranked first with only 36.5% of the share of user searches, followed by Yahoo!, with 30.5% and MSN Search, with 15.5% [2]. This misconception in general comes from assumptions that exclude a large part of the population accessing the Internet. Consequently, this shows a tendency of true average user
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LoyaltyAffectOnWebSearchBehavior - How Does Loyalty Affect...

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