Google effect

Think about it. When was the last time you tried to memorize a route to a destination with all the landmarks? Or, when was the last time you memorized some facts that were obtained by a quick internet search? Well, to be honest most of us don’t bother to remember the information that is readily available on the internet because we know such information is accessible just in a matter of seconds whenever we want it. Ideally, this tendency of humans is known as the Google effect or the digital amnesia. As a result, we no longer bother to spend our energy memorizing heaps of information out there. To simplify, we rely on the internet for memory a great deal. This cognitive bias is not only activated with internet searches, but also with the information that can be readily accessed using computers and mobiles offline. For example, see if you can recall the contact numbers of your loved ones?  Well, for the majority, the answer would be a big no! And that is another side effect of Google effect.

Why does it happen?

If we look at the psychological phenomenon behind the Google effect, it mostly happens as it’s difficult for the human brain to remember all the information that we encounter on a daily basis. Therefore, the information is prioritized to be committed to the memory. However the fact that much information is available on the internet or can be accessed by the devices, further the cause of not committing such information to memory. Moreover, as it may seem and indeed true as a sign of efficiency for the most part, being biased to Google effect is not a great option when you are learning.

Google effect and Digital Marketing

As a matter of fact, according to psychologists, even though we tend to forget important information on the internet, the places (websites, social media pages etc.) we come across such information are said to be committed to our memory. This is where the ability of using Google effect for digital marketing towards Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) comes into play. Well, think about it! You are skimming across a set of websites to buy a trendy sofa. At the end of the search it’s highly likely for you to remember the name of the website where you came across the sofa of your desire, but can you honestly recall the size, the material, dimension etc. of the sofa unless you see it again? If you are like many of us, you will not! Well, in the digital marketing perspective, it is a great way to leave your brand in the minds of the target audience. The better the customers remember that your website or the social media page had something they loved, the greater the possibility of them landing on you (probably multiple times creating many opportunities) for Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).

Here are a few tips to make use of Google Effect for Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)!

Make important information available and highlight their availability: For example, if you own a plant nursery selling the plants online, you can embed a free guide with the tips as to how to take care of the plants. Nonetheless, be sure to highlight such values in your landing pages. Similarly, you can include an information guide based on what you sell as a value added service to attract more customers towards Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).


Your target audience remembering your website for the fact that it contained a set of FAQs of their interest is a great way to drive them back towards you. You can perform a good analysis using a tool to obtain the questions of highest ranks asked by the target audience and answer them in your FAQ. Moreover, it can treat you great towards Search Engine Optimization (SEO) too! 

However, don’t bloat your website with too much information: It’s true that information is a great source to attract your target customers your way due to the Google Effect. However, it should be done tactically. Remember, we do this as a side support towards Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), so it shouldn’t conflict with the best designing practices. As a matter of fact, too much content can make the customers unfocused and it can eventually abandon their efforts to stay in or engage further.

Final thought!

Google effect is our tendency to forget the readily available information on the internet. As such information facilitates easy access in a matter of seconds, our brains don’t commit to memorizing them. Even though this cognitive bias seems to be a shortcut for efficiency, it doesn’t act beneficial in learning. However, people’s tendency to search information on the internet quite often has paved a great way for the online businesses to attract more customers towards Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) due to this cognitive bias of Google effect.

Google effect example

If you can't get users to remember the content of your website, make sure they at least remember your name and make sure they have something they comeback for.

1/ Make your brand stand out : catchy name, memorable logo

2/ Offer valuable content to your users : guide, recipes, calculator... something like a lead magnet, but that you can't download. Then invite your users to bookmark your site.

This website is offering a flavor wheel to wine amateurs :

Google effect example of guide screenshot

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Example of hypothesis applied

If we add a guide to your website, then conversions for all users on mobile devices will increase, because of Google effect.


The references contain experiments and studies that prove this bias is there.

1. Google Effects on Memory
2. The Google Effect

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