Search engine optimization (SEO), as a multi-million dollar business of search engine marketing, has seldom been studied from the consumers' perspective. This study aims to be the first step of researching consumers' reaction to SEO as a marketing practice and its potential impact on online search behaviors. Results showed that the general attitude towards the use of SEO was positive. However, after participants of this study learned about how SEO worked, their evaluations of search engines and the websites directed to by search engines decreased. Most of the participants' online search behaviors remained unchanged except for the number of different searches conducted. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
University of Minnesota M.A. thesis. February 2013. Major: Mass Communication. Advisor: Ronald J. Faber. 1 computer file (PDF); v, 101 pages, appendix A.
In Google We Trust: consumers' perception of search engine optimization and its potential impact on online information search.
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