How Google has made searching invisible

Findings from a research study show that Google has made online search mundane and ordinary; something that just happens. We are not using search as a specific activity anymore as we often did in the times before Google and before we constantly had mobile phones and other devices with us. The participants in the study´s focus groups reflect on the ways in which the search-ification of life and the concurrent mundane-ification of search are shaped by how we put trust in technical systems. This trust is increasingly bound to just one search engine – Google.

The recently published article “The search-ification of everyday life and the mundane-ification of search” by Olof Sundin, Jutta Haider, Cecilia Andersson, Hanna Carlsson and Sara Kjellberg presents the research results from a study on search as it is entangled across our everyday practices.

21 focus groups with 127 participants have been carried out. The study focuses particularly on peoples’ experiences and their meaning-making and on how these experiences and the making of meaning can be understood in the light of algorithmic shaping. The study broadens the often narrow focus on online searching in a specific context or as a technical issue, in order to open up for a research-based discussion on the role of online searching in society and everyday life.

Read the article as Emerald EarlyCite, in the international Information Studies journal: Journal of Documentation:

Olof Sundin , Jutta Haider , Cecilia Andersson , Hanna Carlsson , Sara Kjellberg , (2017) “The search-ification of everyday life and the mundane-ification of search”, Journal of Documentation, Vol. 73 Iss: 2, pp. –
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