Search engine advertising adoption and utilization: An empirical investigation of inflectional factors

Hamed Jafarzadeh, Aybüke Aurum, John D’Ambra, Babak Abedin, Behrang Assemi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Search engine advertising (SEA) is a prominent source of revenue for search engine companies, and also a solution for businesses to promote their visibility on the web. However, there is little academic research available about the factors and the extent to which they may influence businesses’ decision to adopt SEA. Building on Theory of Planned Behavior, Technology Acceptance Model, and Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology, this study develops a context-specific model for understanding the factors that influence the decision of businesses to use SEA. Using structural equation modeling and survey data collected from 142 businesses, this research finds that the intention of businesses to use SEA is directly influenced by four factors: (i) attitude toward SEA, (ii) subjective norms, (iii) perceived control over SEA, and (iv) perceived benefits of SEA in terms of increasing web traffic, increasing sales and creating awareness. Furthermore, the research we discover six additional factors that have an indirect influence: (i) trust in search engines, (ii) perceived risk of SEA, (iii) ability to manage keywords and bids, (iv) ability to analyze and monitor outcomes, (v) advertising expertise, and (vi) using external experts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)402-427
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • SEA adoption
  • paid search
  • search engine advertising
  • sponsored search
  • structural equation modeling


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