In Google we trust: Users' decisions on rank, position, and relevance

Bing Pan, Helene Hembrooke, Thorsten Joachims, Lori Lorigo, Geri Gay, Laura Granka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

325 Scopus citations

Abstract

An eye tracking experiment revealed that college student users have substantial trust in Google's ability to rank results by their true relevance to the query. When the participants selected a link to follow from Google's result pages, their decisions were strongly biased towards links higher in position even if the abstracts themselves were less relevant. While the participants reacted to artificially reduced retrieval quality by greater scrutiny, they failed to achieve the same success rate. This demonstrated trust in Google has implications for the search engine's tremendous potential influence on culture, society, and user traffic on the Web.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)801-823
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Computer-Mediated Communication
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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