Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Web searches for religious topics on the rise

Date:
December 7, 2009
Source:
Penn State
Summary:
Religion is not just for churches, synagogues or mosques anymore -- it's a topic that is being actively searched for online, according to researchers.

Religion is not just for churches, synagogues or mosques anymore -- it's a topic that is being actively searched for online, according to researchers at Penn State.

The researchers examined how people use search engines to locate religious information online. They analyzed more than 5.5 million searches collected from three Web search engines between 1997 and 2005 to investigate attributes of religious searching on the Web.

The religious landscape within the United States has been described as increasingly secularized and factionalized. However, Jim Jansen, associate professor, information sciences and technology and his colleagues, Andrea Tapia, assistant professor, information sciences and technology and Amanda Spink, professor, Queensland University of Technology, Australia, found from looking at religious Web searching behaviors that no evidence of secularization exists, and that religious and religious-related interests held steady and were generally mainstream.

They also found that the results dispelled the stereotype that religious people are not as accustomed to technology as non-religious people.

"Our results showed that people searching for these religious topics were just as tactically skilled as the general Web population," said Jansen. "This actually fits well with the historical use of technology by religious groups and organizations."

There was a general increase in religious searching over time, which may be due to the advancement in technology, increased availability of religious content online and a change in the Web population.

"In the days of the earlier data sets, there were limited topics online," Jansen said. "As the Internet and Web became more main stream, a cornucopia of topics emerged -- religion was one."

Jansen also evaluated how well search engines delivered relevant content in response to religious queries, finding that the search engines preformed poorly.

"I don't believe it is an intentional bias on the part of the search engines," he said. "It is probably due to the localized nature of many religious Web sites. Small businesses face similar issues in trying to get ranked within the search engines."

This work appeared in a recent issue of Religion.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Penn State. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Penn State. "Web searches for religious topics on the rise." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091207123757.htm>.
Penn State. (2009, December 7). Web searches for religious topics on the rise. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091207123757.htm
Penn State. "Web searches for religious topics on the rise." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091207123757.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) Police body cameras are gradually being rolled out across the US, with interest surging after the fatal police shooting in August of an unarmed black teenager. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) A look inside Monrovia's Island Hospital, a key treatment centre in the fight against Ebola in Liberia's capital city. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Puts Stress on Liberian Health Workers

Ebola Puts Stress on Liberian Health Workers

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) The Ebola outbreak is putting stress on first responders in Liberia. Ambulance drivers say they are struggling with chronic shortages of safety equipment and patients who don't want to go to the hospital. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
App Teaches Kindergarteners to Code

App Teaches Kindergarteners to Code

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) They can't all read yet, but soon kindergarteners may be able to create basic computer code. Researchers in Massachusetts developed an app that teaches young kids a simple computer programming language. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins