Crediblity and selection of search results. The effects of ranking, reputation, neutrality, and social recommendations in search engine use
This study examines the selection behaviour of people using search engines. Most of the time, search engines are the key to researching information online. Previous research has shown that users often follow the given ranking within search results without questioning these, mostly selecting top-ranking results. This leads to the question of whether users attribute a high credibility to top-ranked results, or whether the influence of credibility attributions on selection decisions is insignificant. In an observation study (n = 247), the search results’ ranking were systematically varied; as were three credibility cues, i.e. the source’s reputation, the search results’ neutrality, and the amount of social recommendations. The results confirm a great importance of the ranking. Moreover, they demonstrate which occasions should lead to a greater influence of credibility cues on selection decisions.
Haas, A., & Unkel, J. (2015). Glaubwürdigkeit und Selektion von Suchergebnissen. Der Einfluss von Platzierung, Reputation, Neutralität und sozialen Empfehlungen bei der Nutzung von Suchmaschinen [Crediblity and selection of search results. The effects of ranking, reputation, neutrality, and social recommendations in search engine use]. Medien & Kommunikationswissenschaft, 63, 363–382. doi: 10.5771/1615-634X-2015-3-363