It appears we are much more comfortable (truthful?) with the Google algorithm than an online or telephone poll.
There was a recent study done in the US (a telephone survey) on “what do you Fear most?”
All the basics were trotted out – bugs, heights, closed spaces, open spaces, water etc. But when on-line search engine data was studied (2007) – the number one ‘fear of’ search was..intimacy. Followed by: -’rejection’, ‘people’, ‘success’, ‘failure’, ‘crowds’ and ‘love”
When we talk to our search engine we whisper our fears of the society we are involved in and all the ramifications and demands it puts on us. (and possibly a younger age group searching than being phone polled (maybe)?)
When we are asked to speak our fears out loud – we give the old expected responses.But when we whisper to our friend the anonymous search engine -we speak of our fears of our own selves.
In this day and age though we still all fear bugs (now who doesnt- come on) – but I suspect our true deep down major concerns are other people not spiders.Spiders may bite – but they dont reject you – and they dont demand you succeed, and laugh if you ‘fail’.And they do not demand Love.
Also we can factor in the Internet itself is a ‘social’ event, and thats where our on-line focus will be.
Search engines are becoming our friends.
The number one search phrase across all search engines – ‘how to…”
The Search Engine not only helps ally or explain our fears ( I guess) but also explain the world to us, when no-one else will (thank you Wikipedia?)
Search engine results mined correctly can also give advertisers (especially TV advertisers) instant feedback on whether they are reaching an audience or not. The author of “CLICK” Bill Tanner – watched two GM ads on television, one which actually blatantly asked its audience to ‘google’ the car they were advertising. Mr Tanner the next day through his data mining was able to track the success, or not , of these ads. Had people paid attention and acted. In one case yes and in another caser …no so much.
Bill Tannner specializes in giving near real time results to companies about how their marketing affects their audience – specifically through web searches. Did people watch the ad and then click on their favorite Search Engine to see what information the web stored on that product or concept?
So the ubiquitous search engine can now be Big Brother and tell us ‘how we feel’ what we fear’ and what we are looking to buy” perhaps.
The search engine is definitely, for the end user becoming a be all and and end all friend. A few years ago if people were searching for automobile – they would tend to put in a word, or brand. ‘GM’, ‘ car’, ‘auto’. Now they are, we are, more likely to ask ‘Mazda 6 2005 Denver area’.
So not only is the search engine your marketing friend – PPC etc, but its actually your real friend, the one you whisper your darkest secrets to.
However remember when you are searching those odd sex positions with Paris Hilton (just as an example you understand) – Mr Tanner and his ilk are gathering that information.
And your URL.
And the site you visit from that search.