How searchers feel about issues related to paid
and unpaid search results
The latest report from the Pew Internet & American
Life Project shows that Internet search engine users are naive when it
comes to the objectivity and use of search engines.
survey found that 84% of online American adults have used search engines.
That amounts to 108 million people. On any given day, 56% of those
online use search engines. 87% of online searchers say they have
successful search experiences most of the time, including 17% of users
who say they always find the information for which they are looking.
Most search-engine users are unaware of the
distinction between paid and unpaid results: 38% of those who have used a search engine are aware
that there are two different kinds of search results, some that are paid
or sponsored and some that are not. The remaining 62% are not aware of
this practice. Among the 38% of internet users who are aware of the
practice, some 47% of searchers say they can always tell which results
are paid or sponsored and which are not. So only one in six internet
searchers can consistently distinguish between paid and unpaid search
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