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23 Jan 2018 13:15
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  •   Home > News > Technology

    Google leads way on sex advice: study

    Researchers say Kiwis looking for sexual health advice on the internet should type their query into Google rather than using a voice-activated assistant.


    Kiwis seeking sexual health advice on the internet after a Christmas holiday fling should type their query into Google rather than using a voice-activated assistant, researchers say.

    That's according to University of Otago-led research released on Thursday, which found typing a search about sexual health into Google on a laptop was much more efficient than using Google Assistant or Apple's Siri

    Professor Nick Wilson said his team made its findings by searching 50 questions about sexual health in each of Google, Google Assistant and Siri.

    Typed Google searches found answers or advice from expert sources in around half the time of voice-activated searches, he said.

    They were was also more effective at finding local experts, such as the New Zealand Family Planning Association and a New Zealand university site.

    "The research also shows that more needs to done to encourage internet users to treat information in online lifestyle magazines with caution as compared to expert sources," professor Wilson said.

    Despite typed searches being more effective, all search engines could be better at identifying expert sources, he said.

    The Otago team published their findings in the Christmas issue of the British Medical Journal.

    They became interested in their research after an earlier United Kingdom survey of 3221 internet users found 41 per cent go online for answers to health related questions.


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