Azara Blog: Google means people find information on the web more easily

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Date published: 2008/05/24

The BBC says:

Web users are getting more ruthless and selfish when they go online, reveals research.

The annual report into web habits by usability guru Jakob Nielsen shows people are becoming much less patient when they go online.

Instead of dawdling on websites many users want simply to reach a site quickly, complete a task and leave.
...
Success rates measuring whether people achieve what they set out to do online are now about 75%, said Dr Nielsen. In 1999 this figure stood at 60%.

There were two reasons for this, he said.

"The designs have become better but also users have become accustomed to that interactive environment," Dr Nielsen told BBC News.

Now, when people go online they know what they want and how to do it, he said.
...
There has also been a big change in the way that people get to the places where they can complete pressing tasks, he said.

In 2004, about 40% of people visited a homepage and then drilled down to where they wanted to go and 60% use a deep link that took them directly to a page or destination inside a site. In 2008, said Dr Nielsen, only 25% of people travel via a homepage. The rest search and get straight there.

"Basically search engines rule the web," he said.

These are not really two reasons but just one, because the whole reason people have a higher success rate (and so "know what they want and how to do it") is because of search engines, specifically Google. There are not many websites in the world where it is easier to find information contained in the website starting from the home page than it is just to put a search string into Google and navigate from there. And this is hardly "ruthless" or "selfish" behaviour.

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