Search engines play an important role in connecting consumers with information. If it's your first time on the Internet how do you find a search engine? It's a great question because I believe the answer to this question goes a long way to explaining how we select information and then make decisions.
From my experience we don't have much choice. The PC or device that has been purchased will have made the initial choices for you. Choices made by a series of business to business deals that were necessary for the delivery of the PC to the consumer, the business with the biggest influence having the final say. Inherently this is not bad, the world is a better place with PC's? So, we inherit the choices of others and to some degree we will have trusted some business that enabled us to purchase the PC visa vie the other choices in the market at that time.
The browser provided is opened and a search engine will either be presented or a link. Or the consumer will have the information from an offline source that will have educated them the need to use a search engine, assuming they don't just want to live in a one URL online or that they already know all the URL's they will ever need to use! (maybe someday)
Next, how do consumers choose a search engine given a free choice?