The self-Googling phenomenon: Investigating the performance of personalized information resources

Thomas Nicolai, Lars Kirchhof, Axel Bruns, Jason Wilson, Barry Saunders


This paper investigates self-Googling through the monitoring of search engine activities of users and adds to the few quantitative studies on this topic already in existence. We explore this phenomenon by answering the following questions: To what extent is the self-Googling visible in the usage of search engines; is any significant difference measurable between queries related to self-Googling and generic search queries; to what extent do self-Googling search requests match the selected personalised Web pages? To address these questions we explore the theory of narcissism in order to help define self-Googling and present the results from a 14-month online experiment using Google search engine usage data.

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