Brand and its effect on user perception of search engine performance

Bernard Jansen, Mimi Zhang, Carsten D. Schultz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this research we investigate the effect of search engine brand on the evaluation of searching performance. Our research is motivated by the large amount of search traffic directed to a handful of Web search engines, even though many have similar interfaces and performance. We conducted a laboratory experiment with 32 participants using a 4 2 factorial design confounded in four blocks to measure the effect of four search engine brands (Google, MSN, Yahoo!, and a locally developed search engine) while controlling for the quality and presentation of search engine results. We found brand indeed played a role in the searching process. Brand effect varied in different domains. Users seemed to place a high degree of trust in major search engine brands; however, they were more engaged in the searching process when using lesser-known search engines. It appears that branding affects overall Web search at four stages: (a) search engine selection, (b) search engine results page evaluation, (c) individual link evaluation, and (d) evaluation of the landing page. We discuss the implications for search engine marketing and the design of empirical studies measuring search engine performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1572-1595
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
Volume60
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Search engines
search engine
performance
evaluation
Search engine
Landing
World Wide Web
laboratory experiment
Marketing
marketing
traffic
Evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Information Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications

Cite this

Brand and its effect on user perception of search engine performance. / Jansen, Bernard; Zhang, Mimi; Schultz, Carsten D.

In: Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, Vol. 60, No. 8, 08.2009, p. 1572-1595.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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