Ask Says: We Got the “Real” Searches

It must not be easy for Ask to release its "reality snapshot of what people were truly looking to find over the past year" (according to the release) – look at what came in at #3. Ask.com's Top Real Deal Searches of 2007 1. MySpace 2. Dictionary 3. Google…

It must not be easy for Ask to release its “reality snapshot of what people were truly looking to find over the past year” (according to the release) – look at what came in at #3.

Ask.com’s Top Real Deal Searches of 2007

1. MySpace

2. Dictionary

3. Google

4. Themes

5. Area Codes

6. Cars

7. Weather

8. Games

9. Song Lyrics

10. Movies

More here.

Author: John Battelle

A founder of NewCo (current CEO), sovrn (Chair), Federated Media, Web 2 Summit, The Industry Standard, Wired. Author, investor, board member (Acxiom, Sovrn, NewCo), bike rider, yoga practitioner.

7 thoughts on “Ask Says: We Got the “Real” Searches”

  1. I wonder if Google will highlight a competitor in Trends. Granted, it may be silly to search for a site you’re already on… but it’s still interesting to watch the lines get closer.

  2. It’s common user behavior. People will go to Google and search for Yahoo, or to Yahoo and search for Google. This has been going on for years, and these are always some of the top queries, whether or not they get weeded out of the published lists.

    The reason: many users have a default set-up where they load a certain page, which is often a search engine start page. To go anywhere else on the Web, they type the name of where they want to go.

    And of course, they type in one of their “type-in places” as one of my test users called it. Many users don’t have the conceptual model to distinguish between a search engine’s query box and the browser’s URL box. Both are type-in places where you type where you want to go.

    This is not news. For decades we have observed users who don’t understand the difference between the operating system’s windows and application windows, or the difference between icons that represent files and icons that represent actions.

    Remember, there are lots of users who are not very techy and who don’t bother building up the required mental model of computers to differentiate between UI concepts that seem pretty similar.

    This is one reason to recommend user testing: to find out how other people think about technology. Hint: most normal people know less than you do, and some know *much* less. If you want to sell to them, you got to simplify your design to cater to their level of understanding.

  3. I know I’ve used one search engine to find another when I’m using a browser that defaults to a search engine I prefer not to use. Also some browers default to a search engine when an address is typed into the address box. Usually it’s a search engine I’m not familiar with or don’t care to use.

    So what looks like foolishness at first glance can be quite logical to the person doing it. Indeed it often IS logical in one way or another.

    Chet

  4. It amazes me that people on this board would think it is idiotic for Google to be a common search term on Ask, or viceversa or any combo with Yahoo.

    We are NOT the norm. We are a tiny fraction of the population that lives the internet. Most people have regular jobs. The age of the US still trends older, not younger. These reports shouldn’t surprise anyone, and if it does, I bet you suffer from drinking the Koolaid. The Internet is still in a crawl stage. It will be generations, not years before you see trends like this stop.

    And does Google not charge for an AdWords click when the searcher types the actual URL into their search box and then clicks the sponsored link instead of the natural resultes link (or just typing it into their browser in the first place)? Of course, not, but it’s the same thing…and I’d bet accounts for 1/3 of AdWords revenue.

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