A few weeks ago I commented on the fact that Internet users are woefully behind when it comes to searching skills. Now Consumer Web Watch releases the results of a study discussing how consumers use search engines. Among the findings: that Internet users have little understanding of how search engines work, and that most do not click beyond the first page of search results.
I suppose that, while disappointing, neither of these findings are particularly surprising. That is the major negative effect Google has had on our search culture: the results are so accurate, searchers become complacent and assume that the search engine has done the job requested of it on the first page of results.
In a somewhat related story, Jakob Nielsen over at useit.com discusses how most Web users behave as “information foragers,” like wild beasts in the jungle. Does that make all of us “Informavores?” Based on the survey above, I’m not convinced that all Web searchers are able to think that clearly about their search technique. Then again, Jakob may have a point — that it’s more of an instinct than a conscious effort.
In yet another story, Penn State researchers have found that most Web searchers are impatient: they visit only the first three results on a search page, and one in five spends 60 seconds or less on a linked Web page. (Via ResourceShelf)