Robert Allen | Smart Insights | Tue, 27 Sep 2016 13:15:00 +0000

Greater public trust in search engines only reinforces the importance of SEO

It’s the morning after the night before. For those political nerds this side of the Atlantic who stayed up well into the early hours to watch the debate between the two candidates to become the leader of the free world, I can only say well done.

Among the barbed questions, infantile bickering and rude interruptions, discerning observers may have noticed one thing missing. Objectively verified facts. Sure the candidates bandied around plenty of statistics, but sometimes what matters more is not the statistic but its source. And even is a statistic is technically correct, it may be incredibly misleading. For example Donald Trump’s repeated claim that 52% of African American’s are unemployed includes all those who are in school, college, staying home for childcare, volunteering or retired. Hardly everyone’s definition of ‘unemployed’.

The fact a candidate to be president of the richest, most powerful nation on earth can engage in a debate with such a skewed attitude to ‘the facts’ points to a major change in how we access media and who we as a society trust.

Today’s chart covers this, and reveals a very interesting trend. Search engines are now more trusted than traditional media providers, and social media is also gaining trust (albeit from a lower base). Social has now reached the 50% threshold, and looks set to gain even greater trust from users in the coming years.

Search engines besting traditional media points to their increasing power in all aspects of our daily lives, including the political. This only reinforces the need to develop a strong SEO strategy, although remember. With great power comes great responsibility.

trust chart newspapers social media search engines google

  • Source: Atlas
  • Data Source: Trust barometer