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Edelman: Search Engines More Trusted than Traditional Media


Brand managers need not reorient their bearings, but in the context of news, a new Edelman study showed that - by a small margin - search engines are a more trusted source than traditional media.

The trend is particularly evident for emerging news, suggesting a mechanic for the preference: people understand that search engines are less of an interpreter of events, and more of a presenter of events. That is borne out with the data showing that the traditional media is more trusted for developed news events (51 versus 47 percent), where there is a consensus of interpretation, where search engines are preferred for emerging news (71 versus 65 percent).

Notably, social media, a proxy for word-of-mouth, is low on the list of trusted sources in these data. This is almost certainly due to the question's focus on news and information. The bulk of studies show that word-of-mouth is far and above more trusted in terms of brand relevance and influence.


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