According to a survey released by FIND/SVP, 84% of business executives feel that Web searches — using the generally consumer-centric search engines now available –take longer than they should due to poor results. It is estimated that the loss of productive time using search engines to conduct online research cost businesses $31 billion last year.
The study found that that not only are 71% of business executives frustrated with consumer search engines, 74% are not even confident that the results are reliable. However, despite this lack of confidence, 67% stated it would be difficult or impossible to do their jobs without Web-based search tools.
Business professionals also question the reliability of search information, with 52% only “somewhat confident” that results originate from credible sources.
“Executives cannot make informed business decisions without the right intelligence,” said Jay Gulick, director of BNET.
Here are additional findings from the study concerning how businesses use online search:
67% of respondents search for financial information and reports
47% seek competitor information
28% spend between 6 to 10 hours per week researching online
45% encounter broken links that do not work
45% are slowed down by registration and/or passwords
39% felt that information found online is outdated
According to the study, despite the importance of online searches, consumer search engines actually hinder productivity.
Perhaps one should look at this study as boosting the importance of search engine optimization.