Social surroundings are one of the items that can influence consumer behavior during a purchase. The presence or absence of co-consumers (those who are present at the time of your purchase) and the type of co-consumers (positive or negative) can make a difference on what or if you buy. You would think that SEOers wouldn’t have to worry about the influence of co-consumers but think again.
A study by DuckDuckGo shows that Google has a “filter bubble,” meaning that search results can be different based on your profile. The results change according to your profile by Google (based on features like search history, browsing, purchase history), showing results that Google’s algorithms think you’re most likely to click on or find relevant.
Google has always admitted to tailoring search results to present the most relevant and useful ones based on information like location, past search history, and search settings. What the study by DuckDucGO makes explicit is that this is done by the principle of “co-consumers.” What other users — or co-consumers — are doing helps feed Google’s algorithm so their behavior can influence the search results you see positively or negatively.
The bottom line here: you are influenced by what your co-consumers say or do, online or offline. Even if sometimes you don’t even know them.