Decision Drivers for Search Engine Usage – The Mediating and Moderating Role of Lock-in Effects

  •  Ingo Knuth    
  •  Janina Masuhr    


This study analyzes the central factors influencing the satisfaction and future use of search engines. It examines the influence of technological lock-in effects (e. g. operating systems / browsers providing pre-settings), as well as basic product- and brand-related factors (e. g. search results, user experience, brand image). Data was collected via a quantitative online survey in Germany, which resulted in 236 respondents providing statements about their most recently used search engine. The data shows that all independent variables have a strong impact on the satisfaction with a search engine as well as future usage and explain a lot of the variance of the dependent variables. The satisfaction with the core product has the strongest impact, followed by brand-related aspects and user experience. The results also show an impact of a search engine preset in the browser effects that influences the role of brand and the evaluation of different product characteristics.

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