Search Engine Demographics: Women Prefer Yahoo, Men Prefer Google

Apr 17, 2007 • 11:11 am | comments (19) by twitter | Filed Under Google Search Engine

An interesting finding was discovered in a DigitalPoint Forums thread that references a study that says that men prefer Google as a search engine and women prefer Yahoo. From the thread:

About men, he states:

Men tend to see it as an office, a library, or a playground--screw the community, this is about function not family.

Men tend to be more intense Internet users than women, being more likely to go online daily (61% of men and 57% of women) and more likely to go online several times a day (44% of men and 39% of women).

About women, he states:

The report found that women are more enthusiastic communicators, using email in a more robust way. Not only sending and receiving more email than men, women are more likely to write to family and friends about a variety of topics, sharing news, joys and worries, planning events, and forwarding jokes and stories.

While both sexes equally appreciate the efficiency and convenience of email, women are more likely than men to value the medium for its positive effects on improving relationships, expanding networks, and encouraging teamwork at the office.

I think this is an interesting observation. I commented from my own personal perspective that I seek out social networks, many of which are Yahoo! properties, but I personally think that the search engine itself does not include those "community elements" that are so heavily emphasized.

Interestingly enough, I discovered another post that showed that female Internet users outnumber males. This is is even more interesting considering that Google is the dominant search engine. I'd love to know what kind of sampling was taken for the study, since I question the accuracy of the data with the information provided.

Still, the psychology behind the study is an interesting one. Perhaps I'm just a bit biased because I'm so immersed in this technology and in social media as well. :)

To further test such hypotheses, Microsoft has an interesting adCenter Labs Demographics Prediction Tool. One can certainly have fun with this. I see that Barry did, but his findings were different.

Forum discussion continues at DigitalPoint Forums.

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Michael Martinez

04/17/2007 03:33 pm

The report was published at the end of 2005. While the demographics may not have changed much, both search engines have and new research would, in my opinion, be more useful.


04/17/2007 06:06 pm

I do not understand how one can draw conclusions about the tastes and prefernces of a particular gender, but i do see that most of the men like google, but i do like yahoo.

Tamar Weinberg

04/17/2007 07:05 pm

Michael, good catch. The study was recently "discovered" on the forum and I inadvertently thought it was a relatively new one. I should have looked more closely. That said, in 2005, I was still using Google but I was active on many social networks and forums as well. I sought the community myself.


04/17/2007 09:34 pm

Demographers often leap to the same tired stereotypes to explain results. I go back and forth between those two engines, myself, and often use both in one search.

Kim Krause Berg (cre8pc)

04/17/2007 10:46 pm

I'm a stats junkie, so when my gut says "baloney", I pay attention. I think gender, alone, is not enough to go by. For example, my kids use Google for homework and all searches because this is the one their teachers use in school. They use MSIE for the same reason, and it drives them nuts when they use one of my computers that has Firefox as the default :)

No Name

04/18/2007 08:52 am

I agree ...! I am a man and I prefer Google than Yahoo :)


04/18/2007 06:04 pm

Who uses Yahoo!? I haven't used a Yahoo! search since Google showed up on the intraweb. And I'm pretty girlie. Froofy girlie even.

Dan Dorn

04/18/2007 06:06 pm

I like google because of their comittment to Open Source & because they use Linux servers instead of Microsoft servers!!


04/18/2007 06:09 pm

Who uses Yahoo!? I haven't used a Yahoo! search since Google showed up on the intraweb. And I'm pretty girlie. Froofy girlie even.


04/18/2007 06:28 pm

I use Google extensively and Yahoo almost never, but my wife uses Yahoo quite a lot;)


04/18/2007 07:05 pm

I find the study to be wrong. I use google, and almost everyone I know uses google before they use Yahoo. The one exception, my boyfriend. He uses Yahoo more often. Also, I am on the internet all of the time. Whenever I want to look online, I go to google. You can not really say that men use the internet daily more than women if the numbers are 61% to 57%. It is really too close for accurate comparison. Also, he writes emails more often than me and they are often longer.

No Name

04/18/2007 07:58 pm

(3) males for yahoo (1) for google


04/18/2007 08:22 pm

My status as a web searcher are according to the stats: I'm a man and I use Google. But I also know some dozens of girls that also use Google and some dozens of guys that love Yahoo! search. Stats are just stats, but we can't apply them to individual cases because we rarely get results according to the stats' results. That's just my 2 cents...


04/18/2007 09:24 pm

I was using google before most people even knew what a "google" was. I even posted their URL on my website as my favorite search engine. Having said that, if I was so damn insightful, why didn't I buy google shares when they were practically giving them away? -- Mud


04/18/2007 10:23 pm

I think it has more to do with age than gender... Everyone around my age that I know (early 20s) uses Google... My parent's Gen use Yahoo more comfortably...


04/18/2007 10:43 pm

Over here for me, majority of the girls I know use Google instead of Yahoo. If they need a social network, there are tons of alternatives out there for them.


04/20/2007 03:44 am

Correct me if I'm wrong but a search of the webpronews article and the linked study pdf turns up no mentions of Google or Yahoo whatsoever. Other than the title of the webpronews article that is. But it seems they are just using a reference to the mars/venus book to try and sum up the general differences between men and women's online activity. (That men are all about getting things done and women are all about socialising). As far as I can tell, there are no statistics supporting "that men prefer Google as a search engine and women prefer Yahoo" whatsoever. Am I missing something? Or am I just the first person to RTFA?


07/17/2008 07:11 am

Go Google! I have even personalized it!

Antonio Moltisanti

08/28/2012 02:00 am

Is there more info about who uses each? Because Yahoo! comments sections seem to be full of... shall we say "challenged" people.

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