As the battle for dominance in search engines reaches fever pitch, a new study by Yext and Forbes has found just 50% of consumers believe that the brand-related information they find in Google and Bing results is accurate.
More than 500 US-based consumers took part in the ‘Future of Online Search’ study, which shines a light on consumers and how they view brand interactions when using search engines.
The fact that many see search as an unreliable source for information forced 57% of respondents to bypass it entirely in favour of navigating to a brand’s website directly.
Almost half say that these websites are their most valued informational source, while 50% fire up third-party mobile-apps and sites to find the content they need.
Inaccurate information is a notable turn-off for consumers, as 28% said that they would err on the side of not buying a product or service from a brand after viewing inaccurate information.
A few other bugbears for consumers include too many requests for information (31%), lacklustre customer service (41%), and a brand’s website not being easy to navigate or helpful for finding content (30%).
“Our research shows that regardless of where they search for information, people expect the answers they find to be consistent and accurate – and they hold brands responsible to ensure this is the case,” Yext’s chief strategy officer Marc Ferrentino said.
He added: “There is a significant opportunity for businesses to differentiate themselves from their competition through verification on and off of their own websites.”