Do You Know The Difference Between A Browser and a Search Engine?

Videos like this one remind me that I live in a very tiny corner of the universe.

Only 8% of the people interviewed (out of a sample of over 50) correctly defined a browser.  It also shows how effective Google has been in their approach to branding, especially given that they just aired their first TV commercial a few weeks ago.

  • JP1


  • Has google really been successful in branding, or have they just been good at making products everyone needs and wants?

  • I vote for the second, which leads to the first.

  • Totally believable… and certainly good for Google… almost too good to be true… πŸ™‚

    Almost as clever as an Apple ad though… and that's what I totally don't like.

  • David

    Thats just because all these people are out on the street and NOT ACTUALLY WORKING!! πŸ˜‰ …..get a job!!!!!! …ok, ok, it's a little surprising – I've started to give people too much credit……not good for a struggling entrepreneur…..sigh….

  • Ah what an awesome video! I am sending this to our whole team right now. When you eat and breathe in the tech space, it's so important to remember that most of your users live on another planet. ESPECIALLY if you're in the art world, like us.

  • People are too overawed by new (technology) stuff to make an effort at understanding the basics.

  • Andrew

    Google's provides a great product that brands itself. People still don't know how they make money.

  • and those people are your customers. note to self: simple business model!

  • Mohan

    Just like asking someone what a wireless router is vs a (wireless) laptop.

    As for the tech complexity, I always think of a 'Joe Bob from Kansas' when designing my products.

  • Excellent video, I agree that all of us in the tech space live in what I like to call a "bubble" and we always need to have a reality check in order to design and develop for the average user. I actually wrote a post about this the other day and included the same video, since it is so eye-opening.

  • The success is in creating an interaction so simple that the difference doesn't matter.

  • Thanks for posting this. It brings up how artificial is the current debate over "apps vs a better mobile browser".

    Real people don't care about the browser. It's a techie solution to a tech description of the problem. People want access to Internet content and services as simply as possible. One more data point for my upcoming blog post on this topic – as there seems to be a religious war brewing over this red-herring argument (apps vs html5 = who cares?).

  • A little embarrassed to admit it but I needed some help articulating things in my corner, found this 1min video… helpful, found the WhatBrowser breakdown useful too.

  • igizav

    total stupidity

  • Dr. Ann Voisin

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    With few exceptions, our business graduate students have been rejected by sites using Akismet.

    All it takes is one request from a blogger anywhere for Akismet to ban any home site, whether the blogger is delivering spam or not. (None of our graduate students deliver spam. They are very intelligent commenters who like and enjoy your site, but have stopped visiting here, because Akismet is blocking them on your behalf.)

    I am taking the time to write this because I believe your blog to be of high quality, and one from which both you and our graduate students would profit.

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    However, Akismet will have to lift the ban on ToysPeriod for you, or you will have to unplug your blog from Akismet.

    The person to write to is Alex Shiel at Akismet at [email protected]

    If you have not blocked ToyPeriod personally, that is even worse. Akismet has been known to universalize blocking.

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    If you ever wish to monetize your blog, Akismet will at some time or another have to be disconnected. Otherwise, as with our grad students, visitors will continue to be blocked, even if it is the first time they have ever visited your good site.

    Dr. Ann Voisin
    Linda Christas College

  • I went to look for – it reports a DNS error.Β  I also don’t understand why this would cause problems displaying – it’s only going to cause problems if you comment.

  • google is anti brand – i vote for the second too.

    brands are all too often whipped cream on doggie doo

  • Eh, I don't know about this video. Seems to me like there might be some influence here. I envision the conversation going like this:

    Scott: "Hi I'm Scott, I work at Google. Can I ask you a question?"
    Scott: "What is a browser?"

    Stranger: (hmm… this guy is from Google, that's where I type stuff to search)
    Stranger: "Yeah it's where I search for stuff."

    Scott: (YES! GOOGLE WINS!)

    Stranger: (I rock. I know everything.)

    I guess this still means that Google has some awesome branding. But I'd be curious to know what this guy said before he asked the question. There are definitely easy ways to influence the answer. The above is just one example.

  • Dave Lukas

    I wonder if younger generations would perform worse (because they are so notorious about taking their technology and information access for granted), or better (because understanding differentiations like that are more second-nature to them).

  • Regardless of how the test was run people are not "in the know" when it comes to technology. My dad who is a DBA has trouble understanding the internet/technology.

    Often when we are looking to build out features we have to be reminded a large percentage of people still don't purchase services online. What's interesting about this is as a VC when do you know it's the right time to invest in a photo sharing site? Because I am sure throughout the early 90's people had the idea of storing pics/vids online of their family/friends.

  • I bet this makes the GOOG fanboys feel really stupid… I'm going to meet up with my D&D buddies now, then off to the star trek convention…

  • chris

    Why does this surprise people?

    Of course most of the population doesn't know what a browser is. You may as well ask people what a flywheel is or a drive shaft or a universal joint. If you don't have a car interest why would you care what those things are?

    People use a browser to drive across the internet landscape. They don't have any desire to discover the mechanics of that journey. Surely this is obvious? Does Google really need a Q&A street session to learn this? Wow, all those geniuses and no common sense.

    Note to web developers: retain some non-computer obsessed friends just to remind yourself that the world really doesn't care about ebooks or Apple product launches.

  • Revathi

    Here are asking abt the diff between search engine and browser?
    Will u explain in detail?

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