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More Than Half of Americans Don’t Trust Google’s Rankings

New Survey Reveals That over 50% of Americans question the credibility of Google’s 1st page ranking

A new survey, conducted by the marketing agency IronMonk, of 2,000 Americans between the ages of 18 and 65+ reveals that a majority of Americans do not trust Google's first page results. Based upon the findings of the survey, Americans possess a measured uncertainty, at the very least, towards the credibility of Google’s 1st page rank when they search for products or services.

The survey results appear to highlight an increasing distrust that the average American has towards big tech companies, which wasn't the case a few years ago, largely in part to the numerous scandals that have come to light.

According to the findings of the survey, when asked their sentiment towards the website ranking for products and services on Google's 1st page during a search, 50.6% of respondents stated that they felt websites paid Google for the ranking. Interestingly, when demographic results were applied to the survey results targeting females, it rose to 52%, and soared to 59.4% with 45 and 54-years-olds.

The survey results perhaps highlight the increasing displeasure that many Americans have towards monetization on the digital landscape.

The next popular response to the survey question, was that the ranking on Google's first page was legitimate. Of the respondents to the survey, 29.8% indicated that they believed Google legitimately chooses the best websites for product and services searches. The percentage increased to 34.1% for 18 and 34-year-olds, and conversely decreased with older demographics. Considering Millennials were raised in the Digital Age, it would appear that this age bracket is generally more comfortable with and trusting of the digital environment.

The last survey response was that Google's 1st page ranking was rigged. 19.6% of respondents indicated that they believed Google manually selected the websites, which appear on the first page after a search for products or services. Interestingly, when demographic filters were applied to the survey results targeting only males, the percentage rose to 22.7%. It skyrocketed to 29.2% for males between 18 to 24-years-old.

Irrespective of demographics, more than half of all respondents to the survey believed that the ranking system was monetized – that the websites paid Google to appear on page 1.

There was a drastic percentage fluctuation between young and old Americans when it came to the perceived legitimacy of the Google ranking, with older generations less inclined to believe search results were legit. Ultimately, there appears to be a prevailing negative shift of sentiment towards the validity of Google’s ranking of products and services, that was not present a few years ago.

"These results are quite fascinating, and seem to show a shift in opinion that Americans have towards companies like Google," stated Amine Rahal, CEO of Iron Monk.

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By Meeta Ramnani

Meeta Ramnani

Meeta develops credible content about various markets based on deep research, opinions from experts and inputs from industry leaders. As the managing editor at Smart Market News, she assures that every piece of news and article adds to the knowledge of decision makers. An avid bike rider, Meeta, is a postgraduate from Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media (IIJNM) Bangalore, where her specialization was Business Journalism. She carries experience from mainstream print media including The Times Group and Sakal Media Group.

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