March 12, 2012

Personalized search: A bad thing?


Personalized search? Both Google and Bing will tell you that it provides better results. But two-thirds say they don’t care. They view personalized search as a “bad thing,” a new survey finds.

The findings come out of a survey from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. People were asked how they’d feel if a search engine tracked what they searched for, then used that information to personalize their future search results:

- 65% said it was a “bad thing” since, as the response said, “it may limit the information you get online and what search results you see”

- 73% overall said they were “Not OK” with personalized search, since they felt it was an invasion of their privacy

The new findings will likely give fresh ammunition to those who oppose personalized search, especially as conducted by Google. It follows on another survey last month that found largely negative views.

However, it’s worth noting that personalized search has been the norm at Google for over two years and at Bing for just over a year. Even if you’re not logged into either search engine, they’re personalizing your results.

Get the full story at Search Engine Land