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You Are How (and Where) You Search? Comparative Analysis of Web Search Behaviour Using Web Tracking Data

by   Aleksandra Urman, et al.

We conduct a comparative analysis of desktop web search behaviour of users from Germany (n=558) and Switzerland (n=563) based on a combination of web tracking and survey data. We find that web search accounts for 13 desktop browsing, with the share being higher in Switzerland than in Germany. We find that in over 50 with over 97 Most users rely on Google when conducting searches, and users preferences for other engines are related to their demographics. We also test relationships between user demographics and daily number of searches, average share of search activities among tracked events by user as well as the tendency to click on higher- or lower-ranked results. We find differences in such relationships between the two countries that highlights the importance of comparative research in this domain. Further, we observe differences in the temporal patterns of web search use between women and men, marking the necessity of disaggregating data by gender in observational studies regarding online information behaviour.


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