For the first time in history, search engines are considered the most trusted source of news an general information, even being trusted over traditional publications according to a new report by Quartz.
A global survey of 27,000 people by PR firm Edelman reveals that 72% of those surveyed trust online search engines, while 64% trust traditional media. Social media fell behind both at 59%.The trust gap between search engines and traditional media is even wider when it comes to millennials.
As the report indicates, what’s particularly interesting about this data is that search engines don’t actually report on anything, they just aggregate news from other sources.
Where the trust stems from is a search engine’s ability to give users an at-a-glance look at news and information from a variety of sources. That is, apparently, more dependable for most people than getting news and/or information from a single source.
What this really means is getting news from more than one source is preferable compared to putting sole trust in the reporting of one publication. That’s a good thing considering publications each have their own angle when reporting news, each have different institutional biases, and so on.
On the other hand, you must also consider that Google’s algorithm takes into account your search history when serving up search results. So, for example, if you often come to SEJ for your SEO news then you’ll see more results from SEJ when conducting a search.
Technically you’re not getting the most diverse selection of sources when searching for news and information on Google, but it’s still the most trusted way of consuming news for most users.