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Use of Web search engines and personalisation in information searching for educational purposes

Google is the world’s most popular search engine, with 90% of the worldwide search engine market share from 2010 to 2016 (Statista, 2016). In 2009 Google started providing personalised search results for all users, even those without a Google account (Horling and Kulick, 2009). Personalised search apparently benefits users in ways such as better understanding the real meaning of ambiguous queries, retrieving locally-relevant results and ultimately an enhanced search experience (Hannak et al., 2013). However, Web search engines are used so often and routinely that we normally do not question their long-term implications.

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