Welcome to the
Search Studies research group


We aim to understand the influence of search engine optimization (SEO) on results in commercial search engines.

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Relevance Assessment Tool

We develop research software that allows comparing results from commercial search engines.

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We support food control by automatically searching the internet for product offers that violate food law.

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Together with partners from three European countries, our mutual mission is to foster data literacy education.

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See a full list of our research projects.

About us

At the Search Studies research group, we focus on understanding user interaction with commercial search engines and how it affects knowledge acquisition in society.

Our research is mainly empirical, applying methods from information science, data science and the social sciences.

Our empirical research projects rest on two pillars:

  • Search engine data analysis, collecting and analysing data from commercial search engines (data science, applied machine learning).
  • Understanding information-seeking behaviour through conducting user studies in different settings (information science), ranging from large, representative online surveys to behavioural studies in the lab.

The results from our research provide a deeper understanding of how commercial search engines influence what results users will consider in their information searches and, in consequence, which information they consider when searching for societal relevant topics. Our research informs information literacy interventions and regulation of search engines as information gatekeepers.

Read more about the research group in our article “The Search Studies Group at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences“, published in Datenbank Spektrum 2021.

The Influence of search engine optimization on Google’s results: A multidimensional approach for detecting SEO

Lewandowski, D., Sünkler, S., Yagci, N.(2021)

Factors influencing viewing behaviour on search engine results pages: a review of eye-tracking research.

Lewandowski, D., Kammerer, Y. (2020)

How users’ knowledge of advertisements influences their viewing and selection behaviour in search engines

Schultheiß, S., Lewandowski, D. (2021)

An Empirical Investigation on Search Engine Ad Disclosure

Lewandowski, D., Kerkmann, F., Rümmele, S., & Sünkler, S. (2018)

The Web is missing an essential part of infrastructure: an Open Web Index

Lewandowski, D. (2019)