Search engines are a funny thing.  How people think they work is even funnier.

Comedic interlude aside, we really were interested.

When you’re immersed in something, you forget that you’re not in the majority of who actually uses your product or service and how they use it. Search engines are no different. Web professionals are only a small percentage of those who use search engines, and they’re exponentially more knowledgeable about them than the majority, the “real people” if you will.

Case in point: My boyfriend calls it “The Google,” and not ironically.

We surveyed 167 people to see how those real people use search engines, and the results were fascinating. It gave us a few laughs with the above video, but we also got hard data on how people actually use search engines and found out things like:

  • 36 percent of respondents said they’d look for online reviews to guide them before purchasing
  • 37 percent of respondents are “very satisfied” with Google’s search capabilities
  • Of the respondents who said they were “very tech savvy,” 37.5 percent thought Google gave different results based on age

And that just scratches the surface. Over the next 4 weeks, we’ll go into detail about our findings and what that means for business owners and industry professionals – and even the real people using search engines every day. You’ll find out things like:

  • Do users use product or merchant branding in their searches?
  • How often do users use superlatives (best, top) in their searches?
  • Is Google really the first place people go when shopping for a product or service?
  • How much do other people’s opinions matter when users are buying something?
  • How do users actually think sites get to the top of Google?

So don’t turn that dial, folks: Stay tuned to 352’s blog and follow us at @352inc to see the rest of our findings in how real people use search engines.


352 is an innovation and growth firm. Leading companies hire us to find billion-dollar opportunities, build killer new products and create hockey-stick growth. We bring grit and new-fashioned thinking to innovation, digital development and growth marketing.