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Psychology of search

27th September 2019
Posted by Aston Avery

As the world marks the 21st birthday of Google, we see that the way people search for information online and their appetite to learn new things has not changed, but we now expect the correct answers to be readily available to us in the fastest possible time. Despite the stereotype that we love to queue, Brits are actually quite impatient – we don’t want to search high and low for restaurant menus, opening times and answers to that pub quiz we shouldn’t really be Googling. We just want to get the information and get going.

Searching online has become crucial for decision making, in both our personal and business lives, with the results particularly important for the latter. The ‘Psychology of Search’ – new research conducted by Yext, the platform for Brand Verified Answers in search – reveals the latest British consumer and marketer attitudes to online search showing consumers high expectations of online search results finds that 63% of consumers start their online journey with search engines but less than a fifth of them trust the results to be true.

Despite 87% of consumers stating they’re happy with the answer they’re looking for when searching on Google, a third will still look to validate their answers and ensure they have the correct information. In fact, only 1 in 5 (18%) of online users always trust search results and 35% often find the information they are given is inaccurate, leaving them frustrated as they look for a single source of undisputed online truth. Despite this, 87% of marketing pros agreed people should trust the search results they get about their brands from search engines.

Aston spoke to Nisa Bayindir, consumer psychologist to discuss the psychology of search, including how and why Brits search online and what we feel when the information turns out to be incorrect.