Knowledge Gain

How search engine marketing influences user knowledge gain

Neben den Suchmaschinenbetreibern wird das Suchmaschinenranking durch externe Akteure des Suchmaschinenmarketings (SEM) beeinflusst. Dieses Promotionsvorhaben untersucht, wie der Wissenszuwachs von Suchmaschinennutzern durch SEM beeinflusst wird.

Search engines are used by people to answer important questions, for example on health-related, political, legal, or financial topics. When searching, people usually examine only a few prominently placed results on the result page. These results are subject to considerable influences by paid search marketing (PSM) and search engine optimization (SEO). Both fall under the umbrella term of search engine marketing (SEM).

SEM measures are driven by commercial, political, or other motives, which suggest an influence on the quality of the documents and thus on search engine users. These influences are not yet addressed in process and selection models of information behavior. However, such a model is important to gain an understanding of the following:

  1. How information quality is mediated through SEM?
  2. How does collecting documents of different quality affect search engine users' knowledge gain?

The objective of this doctoral research project is to develop and empirically test an information-search-behavior model on the influence of SEM on knowledge gain. The project also aims to make a contribution to the search as learning body of research.


Sebastian Schultheiß (doctoral student)
Vivien Petras und Dirk Lewandowski (supervisors)

This doctoral research project is associated with the project SEO-Effekt


Schultheiß, S. (2023). How search engine marketing influences user knowledge gain. Development and empirical testing of an information search behavior model. CHIIR '23: ACM SIGIR Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval.