A quarter of search engine users couldn't explain why they used the search
engine they do and half use only one search engine.

European search engine Seekport has found that a significant number of UK internet users still struggle to understand and use internet search engines effectively. A third of UK web users surveyed said they get too many American sites returned when they search and half only use one search engine.

Although half of UK web users depend upon a single search engine, their
choice is often independent of the quality of results. 46% said they use
their preferred search engine partly because it is a well known brand, 24%
said they use it out of habit and 19% use it because it is the default
homepage on their browser. Only 8% said they used their choice of search
engine because it delivers good results for their work or hobby. Nearly a
third (30%) of those surveyed could not agree with the statement that their
chosen search engine finds the information they need.

The strong dependence on a single search engine is surprising, since 97% of
those surveyed could name more than one search engine, 80% could name more
than two and 66% could name four or more. Seven or more search engines could
be named by 16% of those surveyed. The most popular search engine named was

Adverts placed against search results and triggered by the keywords entered
are an increasingly popular revenue stream for search engines, but they are
confusing users. A third of respondents cannot tell which links are
sponsored. Of those who can identify a sponsored link, half say they never
use the sponsored links.

"We've discovered that 45% of internet users think all search engines are
the same, but they're wrong," says Nick Morley, head of UK sales for
Seekport. "A common complaint, cited by a third of the people in the UK that
we spoke to, is that search engines deliver too many US results. Since many
of the major search engines are US-based, that's not surprising. But there
are alternative search engines, such as Seekport.co.uk which is backed by a
UK-based index quality team. People should remember that they can choose
their search engine each time they make a search."

He adds: "Users are often familiar with several search engines, but stick to
a single engine arbitrarily. To use the web effectively, it's important to
understand the personality of the different engines available, and use the
right tools for different kinds of searches."

Seekport relaunched its European search engine in October simultaneously in
the UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy. The search engine includes a web
search, blog search, reference source search, image search and product
search. The Seekport UK index is managed by a quality assurance team based
in the UK. Seekport is available for incorporation into content-rich
websites as a white label archive and web search engine. Seekport UK is at

About the survey
The survey was conducted in central London between 24 October and 28 October
2005. Survey respondents were stopped and asked clarifying questions to
ensure that they were computer users and had an internet connection. A full
copy of the survey results is available by emailing

About Seekport
Seekport Internet Technologies GmbH, Munich, was created in December 2003
with the goal of providing individualised search services for companies at
the highest technical level, and to establish one of Europe's leading search
engines for the Internet. Seekport search technology is characterised by
high accuracy of hits, ensured by innovative technologies and by local
indexing teams. This high quality benefits both the business partners of the
company and users in their internet searches. Seekport operates search
engines in Germany, France, the UK, Spain and Italy. Seekport has the
backing of strong shareholders, giving an optimal combination of commercial
and technological resources.

For more information
For more information on Seekport, for photography or to arrange an
interview, please contact:
Hazel Butters or Annie Kasmai at Prompt Communications
Telephone: 0208 996 1653
Out of hours: 07780 687813
<mailto:hbutters@prompt-communications.com> /
akasmai@prompt-communications.com <mailto:akasmai@prompt-communications.com>


Screenshots and photos can be downloaded from the website

Published on: 12:00AM on 24th November 2005