How Does Loyalty Affect Web Search Behavior?
Department of Design and
Department of Computer Science
Department of Communication
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.
Eye tracking, Search engine, web page viewing, user
ACM Classification Keywords
H5.m. Information interfaces and presentation (e.g., HCI):
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 .
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 , 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% . 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% .
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