Factors influencing search engine usage behavior

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Yi Li
Zhihui Yuan
Yujie Li
Jing Liu
Cite this article:  Li, Y., Yuan, Z., Li, Y., & Liu, J. (2018). Factors influencing search engine usage behavior. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 46(1), 1-10.


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We analyzed the effect of individual factors, contextual factors, and perception of search engine advertising on users’ search engine usage behavior. The sample comprised 404 Chinese who used search engines in the context of their paid employment. Results showed that (a) perceived search skills and perceived search engine reliance significantly and positively impacted users’ general search engine usage, (b) perceived advertising clutter reduced the beneficial effects of perceived search skills on users’ general search engine usage, (c) users with higher perceived search engine reliance preferred search engines to other online search methods, and (d) prior negative experience reduced the positive link between perceived search engine reliance and users’ specific search engine usage. Our findings suggest that search engine designers and operators should focus on individual and contextual factors influencing search engine usage behavior, and should consider users’ perception of advertising on search engine programs.

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