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Search engine study finds users would use alternatives to Google

Woman using mobile phone

Search engine study finds users would use alternatives to Google

A new study has concluded that internet users across the globe would use alternatives to Google if they were presented with the choice.

The research was commissioned by American search engine DuckDuckGo, and it surveyed more than 3,400 adults based in the UK, Australia, the US and Germany to find out which search engines Android users would choose if presented with a preference menu. As part of this survey, respondents were given two preference menus, one detailing four options and another detailing eight options.

The four-choice menu consisted of DuckDuckGo and the three major search engines – Google, Yahoo and Bing. The eight-choice menu had these four alongside Baidu, Ecosia, Qwant and Yandex.

The results of the study suggest that users selected alternatives to Google at a rate that would see the collective market share of these alternative search engines boosted by between 300%-800%, with the overall search market share for mobile devices immediately changing by more than 10%.

In the UK alone, these alternative search engines hold a collective 2.35% of the market share, but with the four-choice preference menu, this would change by 643% to around 13%-14% of market share, and with the eight-choice preference menu, it would rise 666% to just over 15% of the market.

DuckDuckGo has explained that many smartphone users are unaware that they can switch the default search engine to something other than Google and suggested that Android users who are aware of this find it difficult to implement the change.

The study also highlighted that DuckDuckGo has the second most selected search engine when users were presented with the preference menu. It also asked participants for their motivations behind making a change away from Google, with the top answer being a better quality of result and the second being about personal data collection.

Following these revelations, DuckDuckGo has proposed that Android smartphones are integrated with a search preference menu to allow users to choose the search engine they wish to set as their default.

The full details of the study can be found here.

Alan Littler

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