Survey: 54% of people browse more search results than 5 years ago

Survey: 54% of people browse more search results than 5 years ago

2 minutes

Table of contents

User frustrations

The top frustrations for users are browsing search results, visiting multiple sites, and finding the right search term. Most Americans today spend more time searching for services online than they did five years ago and are frustrated by it, according to a new survey.

Why this matters

Search engines should help people find the information they need. This survey indicates that poor search results and experiences are failing users, leading to frustration.

Search system frustration

Respondents were asked which part of the online service search process frustrates them the most. The top three frustrations are:

  • Browsing search results: 26%
  • Finding the right search term: 22%
  • Visiting multiple sites: 21%

Increased searching

Most respondents said they browse more search results compared to five years ago:

  • More: 54% (19% “much more”; 35% “somewhat more”)
  • Less: 27% (19% “somewhat less”; 8% “much less”)
  • About the same: 20%

Most respondents also said they spend more time searching for services online:

  • More time: 51% (16% “much more”; 35% “somewhat more”)
  • Less time: 28% (18% “somewhat less”; 10% “much less”)
  • About the same time: 21%

Users are increasingly frustrated with the quality of Google searches, despite Google claiming people appreciate AI Overviews and search results. Google reported increased Search usage thanks to AI Overviews, but it’s unclear if this is due to showing relevant information or not finding correct answers.

Low PPC Ad relevance

Only 12% of respondents said search ads are relevant to them. More respondents found relevant ads on six other channels: TV (41%), YouTube (37%), Facebook (32%), Instagram (32%), TikTok (19%), and websites (18%).

User preferences

In search results, 35% of respondents said they skip ads to go directly to the website. Additionally:

  • 33% look for sources/companies they recognize by name.
  • 33% seek higher-ranked results.

Other findings

  • 30% believe higher-ranked services in search results are usually more relevant.
  • 46% said “trustworthy” results would make search more enjoyable.
  • 86% believe they can almost always distinguish between organic and paid results.
  • 47% find it easier to distinguish regular from paid results; 37% find it harder; 16% think it’s the same as five years ago.

About the data

The survey of 1,000 American adults was designed for national representation by gender, age, and region. Conducted in late February by Scorpion, a digital marketing and technology solutions provider, in partnership with Dynata, an independent market research company.

Digital marketing puzzles making your head spin?


Say hello to us!
A leading global agency in Clutch's top-15, we've been mastering the digital space since 2004. With 9000+ projects delivered in 65 countries, our expertise is unparalleled.
Let's conquer challenges together!

Hot articles

YouTube inserts ads into videos to bypass ad blockers

YouTube inserts ads into videos to bypass ad blockers

Pinterest launches AI ad tools

Pinterest launches AI ad tools

The Google TV network is now available to advertisers via Google Ads

The Google TV network is now available to advertisers via Google Ads

performance_marketing_engineers/

performance_marketing_engineers/

performance_marketing_engineers/

performance_marketing_engineers/

performance_marketing_engineers/

performance_marketing_engineers/

performance_marketing_engineers/

performance_marketing_engineers/