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Expert users move away from google

 3:12 pm on Apr 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

Microdoc news conducts surveys on Google. Interesting findings this month
  • 24% of those surveyed indicated they have stopped using Google, especially prominent amongst 'expert' users.
  • 66% of people say they use Google multiple times a day
  • All internet novices use Google
  • Yahoo getting more searches (as a result of the new interface?)
  • 15% say that Google is a portal (up 11% from last month)

Most of WW posters will fit into the 'expert' category I guess. Are you looking for/using alternative sources to Google? If you are is this an increasing trend for you?

Microdoc claim that Google need to get into RSS feeds/blogs which would go hand in hand with the recent blogger acquisition.

[edited by: heini at 5:39 pm (utc) on April 26, 2003]



 3:22 pm on Apr 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

To be honest it sounds like they have some major sampling problems. All novices use google? Never!

Still, even though I am an "expert" user, i have absolutely no idea what those other things the survey reckoned people are using instead are. (well, I know what a blog is, but what kind of blog are they on about?)

Would like to hear other people's experiences too.


 3:26 pm on Apr 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

Interesting.. though there is absolutely no information on sample selection and breakup that makes the results almost useless. I can only assume that it was done by a survey on their site, which from the looks of it is a high tecchie, info/news type mob. The results are certainly quite different from other surveys which DO provide info on their sample selection and other methodology, but given the assumed very specific sample it is certainly understandable.

There was not much n alternatives. So if they are using Google less what are they using? Desktop aggregators, RSS feeds aggregators, and alternative news engines like Daypop they seem to say. ..and yahoo? Now im a great fan of daypop and blogdex etc etc, but there is no way they can provide a comprehensive service like Google, ATW, Inktomi engibes etc. They do what they do well - indexing blogs and news sites, the former much better than the latter.


 3:27 pm on Apr 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

I only use non-Google SEs to check ranking, always use Google for real searches.


 3:34 pm on Apr 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

1) who and what's Microdoc news?
2) the survey is based on 2.900 people's comments ... so what?
3) why didn't you name the thread "66% of people say they use Google multiple times a day"?
4) "All internet novices use Google" based on 2,9 k survey data?


... i'll start my own survey, now ...


 3:44 pm on Apr 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

Both my observations of users & (more importantly) the results in my logs suggest that less technical people use Google less than more technical people.

I have 2 popular parts to my site that started as just a personal thing. MSN rules on the theology side whereas Google (from several different countries) rules on the technical stuff. On the tech side I do get some Yahoo! referrals -- thank Google again.


 3:47 pm on Apr 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

why didn't you name the thread "66% of people say they use Google multiple times a day"?

The title I chose was microdoc's main thrust of the article and seems entirely appropriate to me. If you disagree with them, then please discuss it - that's why I posted the thread ;)

I didn't give any opinion of the accuracy of the results. However whether their demographic is representative or not I think their conclusion that Google is no longer the expert/advanced search engine it once was is a reasonable one.

I'm not here to defend microdoc, I just thought they raised some interesting points.

[edited by: pixel_juice at 3:50 pm (utc) on April 26, 2003]


 3:49 pm on Apr 26, 2003 (gmt 0)


I think that sample is flawed!

Most novice users use what comes on their systems and we all know what this is.

I'm an expert user and I still use Google excusively as do all the people I know and work with.

I think the person who runs Mirco Dot News which used to be Google Village probably took that report from one of the many resources that are always trying to bash Google for one reason or another.

You would think they would make it believable.

I go by my own logs, Google searches are way up. Granted, so are the Yahoo searches as well, which is do to not the new interface, but the fact that you can actually find relative material thanks to the searches being fed by Google. If and when they switch over to Inktomi, I can bet Yahoo users will leave in droves to Google because that is the relavence they have come to expect, not the crappy total spam laden results of inktomi.

Just my opinion of course, by my logs and better yet sales, don't lie!


 3:50 pm on Apr 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

I started using Google and have never had the slightest urge to change, although I do like the new Yahoo set up, and just like Mohamed_E I only use the other SE's for checking my rankings:) And anyway how could the relevancy of such a test be significant. For crying out loud they only used 2,900 people......dumbasses. To get a good relevancy test that they did you would without a doubt need to dig deep into your pocket and do a worldwide test.
Start in America and do the survey over x amount of businesses, People working from home, colleges, schools....... and the list goes on.

Long Live Google;)


 3:54 pm on Apr 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

Lots of you seem to be missing the point.

Microdoc readers are more tech savvy users and most will have been using Google for some time. Although not representative of internet use in general, they have a reasonable sample of Google/technical users.

>>I go by my own logs, Google searches are way up

Microdoc said (if you read the article) that Google searches generally are up in number, but that a small group of expert users are starting to use other sources more and more.

Thus, overall Google use has gone up while a new elite group of users have shunned Google to use other methods of locating information.

And please spare me the talk of 'google bashing'...


 3:58 pm on Apr 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google's my first preference for any search, followed by Alltheweb for further results. Although I am an expert user, from my logs, I do find that many novices use Google, without actually understanding the way Google works. We get people using natural language searches on Google, such as "where can I buy a widget" and more. Many users are not familiar with the difference between a search on Google and say, Ask Jeeves. Anyway, we use Google Adwords to make sure we don't miss out on such web users!


 4:02 pm on Apr 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

lol pixel, that'll teach you to ever saying a word against Google again... :)


 4:06 pm on Apr 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

For the most part, a lot of people have never even heard of Micro Doc news.

So, I guess among the group of people that do know and participated in it and consider themselves "experts", then within that group I guess it is possible that they are using other sources.

That group however in no way reflects the general "expert" users at large.

Many people in different industries are expert users and don't know what a microdot news is.

Perhaps the article, should be more targeted and say, the "expert users who use Micro dot news", and not leave the impression that it is the expert user at large, which just is not true.

In my circle, there are many "expert" users and not one of them know what Micro Dot news is.

That article gives the impression it is an overall move away from Google when in fact, according to their "scientific survey" it was from their sampling of 2900 microdot users who represent the entire web population.

That was a very unscientific survey that basically just gave the owner of MicroDot new something to write about.


 4:11 pm on Apr 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

OK, reading my original post I can see how the slant of the thread isn't exactly as intended.

Let me clarify:

The findings from Microdoc are not intended to be a measure of internet or search engine use in general. They are intende to be a survey of microdoc users. The site attracts a tech-savvy crowd who know more about search engines than your average joe public end user.

This group could be seen as representing some of the 'hardcore' of Google's user base, potentially the sort of people who used Google before it became one of the biggest and most well known brand on the internet, and helped made Google what it is today. IMO, these people's attitudes towards Google are interesting. Where they look for information may well be where Google start looking in the future.

I (or more proprly microdoc) wasn't trying to say that Google is becoming les popular or worse, or anything along those lines. Go to the front page of microdoc and look at the other news artilces about Google. You might notice that none of them are negative about Google at all. Everybody and his dog love Google, so save yourself (and me) sometime and don't just post 'defending' Google from an attack that doesn't even exist.

Phew, sorry for the long posts, it's hard if I have to type instead of speak, it's easy to write things that can be misinterpreted.

lol pixel, that'll teach you to ever saying a word against Google again..

Hehe, Google being untouchable makes me want to go and find something new and better all the more ;)

[edited by: pixel_juice at 4:14 pm (utc) on April 26, 2003]


 4:14 pm on Apr 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

>The title I chose was microdoc's main thrust of the article
>and seems entirely appropriate to me. If you disagree with
>them, then please discuss it

Well, normally it's a common practice of yellow press journalists to pick the loudest sentence and make a headline of it. I don't like this manipulating manner - and i think the survey isn't even worth to be discussed ... allthough it's a funny find! ;)

<joke but>This said, i'll gonna make my own survey based on the opinions of the users that visit my sites. They'll be more than 10 times of microdoc's interviewed people but not at least 0,1 % of a real world survey.</joke but>

I absolutely laugh about this people who claim to know everything and all about google and their users.

You can see how dumb the survey is by looking at the first questions:

1. What is Google?

a.search engine
c.shopping site
d.other - please explain

They talk about experts? They talk about novices? Man, ...
Now, let 'em get some nice traffic from WebmasterWorld ...

btw: Pure coincidence, but microyadda sounds like ... ya know.

lol pixel, that'll teach you to ever saying a word against Google again..

That's not my problem. Every word should be read - no matter how good or how bad. But if the word (micro, not pixel!) is manipulative, it's more bad than good.</added>

[edited by: Yidaki at 4:16 pm (utc) on April 26, 2003]


 4:15 pm on Apr 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

OK, you win, I give up...


 4:18 pm on Apr 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

pixel, don't get me wrong. I appreciate such finds, really! What a funny afternoon! ;)


 4:21 pm on Apr 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ok, That's better!

I can see how a more search engine savy crowd would use other engines.

I always use Google for my serious searches but truth be told, I do try searches on other engines simply to see what is being presented and just how hard did I have to look to find it.

As a person who makes his living on the Internet, it is in my best interest to know what the other engines are doing and watch them so that when a real contender to Google comes along, I'm on the front lines and know how to work with it.

In fact, I have placed very high on the other engines that may give Google a run. So far, for close to the exact same listing on Google, Google outperforms them by a 100 to 1 in searches.

It may be different for different industries, but for mine most people are still using Google.

For now, Google seems to be the one to beat.


 4:25 pm on Apr 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yidaki - Most of the replies I got were are all about how bad microdoc news is or how useless the survey is. I was posting for opinions on the conclusions they drew, not the accuracy of their numbers.

Did you look at the home page of the site and some of the other news items? I think that that is a much better way to judge the quality of the sites users and respondents than the phraseology of the questions.


 4:35 pm on Apr 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

*personally* i am always looking for a search engine where i don't get commerical / vendor / advertising sites...

*professionally* i am interested in what the masses who trust the net with their creditcard use, and i think that's google still, according to my logs at least


 4:36 pm on Apr 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

pixel, don't make me wonder ...

>I was posting for opinions on the conclusions they drew,
>not the accuracy of their numbers.

You can't disucss about their conclusion if the accuracy is so poor.

>Did you look at the home page of the site and some of the other news items?

I did, but that's not what you wanted to discuss, or!? ;)

At the first looks i see a well seo'd blog site that has been named googlevillage in the past and makes intense use of the googlish keywords. The news headlines are the same as here at WebmasterWorld ...

again, no offence!


 5:13 pm on Apr 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

again, no offence!

None taken :)

You can't disucss about their conclusion if the accuracy is so poor.

If I was aiming for scientific accuracy, then certainly. But if the conclusions are interesting I tend to indulge myself and speculate.

The direction I was hoping this thread would take be as to whether other sources of online information may start to be used over search engines. If thi is going to happen, it will be amongst the tech-savvy users first.

*personally* i am always looking for a search engine where i don't get commerical / vendor / advertising sites...

Precisely, and the weight of commercial vs free content in Google is changing rapidly, and so more expert searchers might start looking elsewhere to avoid this. Perhaps feedster/daypop type sites might be one direction that people will go in. I know personally I am always looking for new sources of good information, and I know exactly what to expect from Google results, so for some searches I go elsewhere.

Lol. As I am typing this both feedster and daypop are having server hangups ;)


 5:45 pm on Apr 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have removed the link to microdot, so hopefully we can discuss Google and user behaviour from now on.
I don't think anybody would claim this to be a serious statistic. On the other hand that is true for 90% or more of such polls, even when they come from supposedly authoritative sources as Nielsen et. al.

There is no doubt Google has become mainstream. Remember the thread a couple weeks ago when Google was found to be the third best known brand worldwide?

So Google hardly can claim to be an elitist avantgarde thing anymore. Which in turn makes the question if the tech/web avantgarde still uses Google as much as they did in the beginning is a valid one.


 6:48 pm on Apr 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks for helping with the clarification Heini :)

I'd like to repeat my original question if I may:

If you consider yourself an 'expert' searcher or internet user, are you looking for/using alternative sources of finding information to Google, and are you doing this more so or less so than you used to?

As Heini suggests, Google used to be the search engine of choice for the tech-savvy user who was one step ahead of joe public searcher. The average searcher now uses Google too, so what do you use now? Still Google, or have you found something else?


 7:14 pm on Apr 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

--If you consider yourself an 'expert' searcher or Internet user, are you looking for/using alternative sources of finding information to Google, and are you doing this more so or less so than you used--

In the context of your question, I consider myself an expert user spending 12 to 15 hours a day on the Internet. Any time I need real information, such as Drivers, definitions of a term, etc. I exclusively use Google. I have in the past tried other engines and was not satisfied with what I got. Every now and them I'll try another one just to see and I still am not getting the quality results I get from Google.


 8:18 pm on Apr 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

> Expert users move away from google

strange ... my recent "expert search "oberservations:

I'm currently seeking for infos about how to handle the logistics and stuff of a online shop within my industry. I'm thinking about adding my own online shop to my site since i don't want to draw all my hits to a affiliate. So i started to investigate how to handle logistics, commissions, prices, wholeseale dealers and stuff.

I did the following *expert* searches in (german) google. The results are the first 20 listings:

- search: my-industry-keyword ecommerce logistics
-> results: Online shops / most of them spammed to match my-industry-keyword. Various useless old ('99) pr about how great various successfull online shops handle their logistics. Some university sites that use my-industry-keyword as a example for their yadda yadda about the future of ecommerce ...

- search: my-industry-keyword onlieshop logistics
-> results same as above

... ok, i thought let's skip my-industry-keyword - logistics may be the same for many industries:

- search: onlineshop logistics
-> results: Shop software vendors. Nothing else.

- search: logistics onlineshop
-> results: same as above.

I think that's a pretty expert search - and i must admit, the results are not of any value. Next search i'll do: expert forums ecommerce logistics Prob i'll find some usefull WebmasterWorld threads. ;)

Allthough my real world example might be to expert and oriented towards commercial things i'm somewhat disappointed, frustrated and surprised about the results.

Allthough the micro survey is worthless, the oberservations i made are ... hmmm, worth to discuss!?


 8:34 pm on Apr 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks Yidaki - this is just the sort of response I was looking for :)

I find that for specialist searches I know where I can find better results quicker without using Google. A while back this would be limited to a few areas, for example if I was looking for drivers I'd try somewhere like driverguide first so I don't have to wade through broken links or outdated versions. Or if I was looking for software I tended to not use Google as much because, again, there are lots of broken links or misleading pages.

Clearly the problem gets worse as more and more commercial entities strive to improve their rankings and SEO awareness increases. These days if I want to buy something on the net I don't use Google serps or I end up with a bunch of good SEO sites with bad products or multiple affiliates. I tend to click on sponsored searches and paid listings on a variety of other sites (including adwords).

There's clearly lots of good information sources out there that don't deliver results in the same way as Google and therefore give a different perspective and new websites you might never have seen if you only used Google.

There are a number of sites now indexing rss feeds and suchlike and they add an interesting human dimension to the pages you see for your query. Also, they will always be free of spam which Google, by virtue of its popularity) is in a never-ending battle against.


 9:09 pm on Apr 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think I have to counter Yidaki's post here.

Firstly in some ways you (Yidaki) are right - many searches for information on a product or related to sales produces e-com sites trying to sell you that product more than anything else. However, this is true of all search engines (hey, most e-com sites do give information too). And it could be that no-one has published a full guide to the logistics of ecommerce on the web - surely logistics is logistics whether you run an e-com site or a hot-dog van?

I still use Google first, and others second where Google fails (not often, and I can't think of a time when the others produced any results either). A good illustration is a search for a particular procedure in a particular Microsoft product - MSDN very rarely gives you the article you want on the first search, try it in Google and you get the correct article on MSDN in the top 3 results every time.


 9:23 pm on Apr 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

Don't forget that this is Microdoc, and techie people like slashdot users are a subculture that values being different as a sign of being elite. The more obscure and harder to use it is, the better they have demonstrated their 'eliteness' by being able to actually figure out and use the product. From that point they can say "I use BlahBlah ver. .67 release a195 and I dont know why anyone would use windows"... etc etc.

Thus, In that sample, many may be lead to say someone like "I only use the linux search api conquerer pda xml open source release beta yadda yadda search engine because it allows me to telnet from my shell account, never something like Google".

They will NOT say the most popular thing for fear of being mainstream and a follower, i.e. not cutting edge, but they do use it.

(This is in my opinion, and not the entire world, but its something I saw in a analysis of the subculture back in college, and I think noteworthy for this discussion)


 9:33 pm on Apr 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

I will go to alltheweb when investigating a url. Backlinks, whois, wayback, and more are right there on one page. I find a complete list of backlinks much more favorable anyway.

If I want to learn how to do something I will usually learn it here or in a similar type forum. Sometimes I find the forums through Google.

If I want to buy something I will try my favorite shopping sites first, and then Google.

For just about anything else it is Google.

I use Google News but am not overly fond of it. They seem to add a sentence to yesterdays story and call it breaking news. Better than Yahoo's though.

Oh yeah, an interesting thing about the wayback machine. If you check out Google, you will notice that it AT LEAST 11% more portal than it used to be.;)

This 49 message thread spans 2 pages: 49 ( [1] 2 > >
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