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Old 03-02-2005   #1
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Google’s Golden Triangle

An excellent study just came out: Did-it, Enquiro, and Eyetools Uncover Google’s Golden Triangle


Quote:
New EyeTracking Study verifies the importance of page position and rank in both Organic and PPC search results for visibility and click through in Google.
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2005/3/prweb213516.htm

Please discuss your thoughts on this study.
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Old 03-02-2005   #2
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Thanks for the heads up on the latest eyetracking.
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Old 03-02-2005   #3
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Stats are what you want them to be

I find the "study" interesting, however 50 people from San Fransisco is hardly a test group to base any kind of solid conclusion upon. Who are these folks, whats their demo?

Are they like the people you would find on La Jolla shores drive or Grand ave? Anyhow, it is very interesting how complex visitor behaviors can be. Does the Visual pattern suggest a higher quality lead, more traffic or simply that this is how the eye flows over information with this particular color scheme? What about decision making? Do people click on the first ad, but more often convert after the 4th ad they have clicked and read? Does this change from industry to industry?

Getting the data is one thing, making sense of it is certainly another.
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Old 03-09-2005   #4
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I found it very interesting, but I agree that it matters who the 50 people were. If they were used to doing searches on the web, then it is clear that they expected to find the search result where they looked. A group of people who were not used to doing searches may produce a completely different pattern.

I would be very interested to see the eye pattern for a group of regular surfers when visiting selected webpages. Maybe hot spots could be identified, especially the first spot where people look on a new page, which would help website designers to place certain important things in certain places.
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Old 03-09-2005   #5
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The impression I got from Enquiro's CEO, who presented at SES, was that the study involved relatively un-savvy web users who were not adept at performing web searches, nor interpreting results. This, however, was just my "feeling" and I don't have any data to back it up - maybe someone else who was there can remember more about the survey group?

It was Gordon Hotchkiss who presented during the searcher behavior session -
http://www.seroundtable.com/archives/001599.html
http://www.socengine.com/seo/guide/s...-behavior.html
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Old 03-09-2005   #6
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If they weren't just ordinary web users, then the results aren't really realistic. It would be interesting to see patterns for different groups of people:- those who are web novices, and those who are used to doing searches. Those who are used to it may produce a different pattern because they already know that good results can be found below the top few. They may also tend to ignore the ads above the organics, whereas people who are not all that used to searching Google may tend to see the ads as the start of the organic results.

I remember when I first started to use a search engine (AV). I actually thought that it was showing me the best sites (not pages) first, so the ones below the top few were obviously inferior sites, and I wasn't interested in them. There are differences in the way that different people think of the serps, and there must be differences in the way they view the screen.

Also, the people should actually want to find what they are searching for. Just doing a few searches with people who are not looking for whatever it is, can't really produce a realistic pattern.

Last edited by PhilC : 03-09-2005 at 04:54 PM. Reason: addition
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Old 03-09-2005   #7
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Phil - That kind of thinking still happens today. I can't tell you how many people I've had tell me that those were not just the most relevant results, but the most trustworthy and best companies (otherwise, how did they get to the top?). There is still a lot of education needed for the users of search engines, yet I still don't see a "help me search" link at the bottom of any of the big 3...
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Old 03-09-2005   #8
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It doesn't surprise me. Even before that thinking, I actually thought that a search engine went out onto the web and searched for what I wanted at the time I asked for it. I thought that because of the name "search engine" I couldn't understand how they could do it so quickly. In fact, as a programmer, it didn't make sense to me, but those were my first thoughts about search engines.
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Old 03-09-2005   #9
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I wonder what a good, representative sample would be? Say, 500?

Still, this is a great start in better understanding an oft forgotten element of SEM.
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Old 03-09-2005   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nacho
An excellent study just came out: Did-it, Enquiro, and Eyetools Uncover Google’s Golden Triangle




http://www.prweb.com/releases/2005/3/prweb213516.htm

Please discuss your thoughts on this study.
Interesting part of this that the hot zone appears to be the top two paid listings.... and the number one organic.
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Old 03-09-2005   #11
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From Enquiro's paper:

Some numbers on visibility in organic:

* 100% visibility in the top 3 listings
* 85% visibility in pos. 4 listings
* 60% visibility in pos. 5 listings
* 50% visibility in pos. 6-8
* 20-30% visibility in pos. 9-10

Sounds about right to me
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Old 03-10-2005   #12
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Quote:
Some numbers on visibility in organic:

* 100% visibility in the top 3 listings
* 85% visibility in pos. 4 listings
* 60% visibility in pos. 5 listings
* 50% visibility in pos. 6-8
* 20-30% visibility in pos. 9-10

Sounds about right to me
How does the 20-30% for last positions correlate to the stats that say 40% of searcher click to the second page and 30% to the third page... unless those stats are just simply old an no longer valid. The above would imply that less than 10% of searchers actually click to the second page.
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Old 03-10-2005   #13
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I'll pay for Google's WebSideStory usage to do a month long path analysis of the search page.... if they share the results.
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Old 03-17-2005   #14
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On some level, this kind of study is cool. Interesting. But I fear, grossly misleading.

First things first, when we say "50% visibility," what exactly is the "percentage" referring to? Can someone explain that to me?

Is it just eye behavior by these participants? Is that all that is meant by "% visibility"? What is that supposed to translate into?

Real users searching for real information and vendors may well scan differently, and more importantly, act differently on what their eyes do catch.

The conclusion that one might draw from this study -- certainly the visual lends itself to this kind of interpretation -- is that 5th or 6th ad position is virtually invisible. This simply isn't true in cases where users go looking for what vendors on that side have to say, then click, then convert. This happens in high volume in certain campaigns I manage, including some high volume, high-spend ones for larger companies. For these companies on these keywords, it may well be that they have no hope of achieving the organic rankings, or of breaking even on the first two ad positions. From the eyepath studies, you would assume that all is lost for them. But it is not.
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Old 06-20-2005   #15
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FYI, the triangle represents where people look on the screen and not specifically the Google screenshot you see behind it. They just grabbed one of the screenshots to show where the triangle was and it happened to be one with the top 2 Google paid listings.

The idea of the research was to get a feel for where people look on the page, and what the liklihood is of them clicking on one result over another. As we all know while page position is important it isn't THE defining factor. Many other things play into the decision.

I think what the research does show is that we as SEM's need to spend more time understanding what it is that motivates the click. How much is position versus, say the Title actually worth? What other factors affect the click.

Sure we can speculate from our experience but to date no one knows for sure. If they did they'd be millionaires.
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Old 12-07-2005   #16
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Click thru on google news

Is anyone familiar with any study or report which discusses how many readers of Google News just read the inital combo of headline/story lead/picture vs. click through to the underlying stories? Thanks
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Old 12-08-2005   #17
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I think conducting this study on a search engine doesn't help as much as it could. I run medium sized advertising campaigns on G and O and everyone knows thats where people are looking for the information on that page. On a search engine thats really the only place you (should) start regardless I think. The study performed on a news site, even, would strike me as more valuable. Still though, a real good SE read-nice post.

Last edited by fulton savage : 12-08-2005 at 09:42 PM.
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