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Oct 20, 2002
Blog Post

iProspect's research on how people use search engines

SUMMARY: No summary available.
What does it mean if your Web site is #31 for your most important keyword on (free) search engines? According to new research (about which you won't be reading from anyone else for a week) from iProspect, it means that you might as well be number 3001.

This is not your typical "we surveyed our clients and they all thought that [fill in your marketing tactic here] was the most important part of an online marketing mix." No sir. iProspect hired Dick Morris to write the survey and to conduct the research. (We tend not to report on that other kind of research.)

The most important results of their 13-page not-quite-a-white-paper-not-quite-a-marketing-brochure (although perhaps my copy was a pre-publication draft) were as follows:

  • The largest group of search engine users (32%) look at the entire first page of results before clicking a link.

  • Only 12% of all search engine users consistently look at more than three pages of results before either following a link, rephrasing their search, or going to a different search engine.

  • How most people use search engines. They:

    1. type a search term

    2. review (up to three pages, but usually just one page of) results

    3. follow a link OR if not satisfied, type a revised search term

    4. review results

    5. follow a link OR if not satisfied, go to a different search engine and try the first search term again

What does this mean to marketers? No news there: search engine optimization/marketing matters.

I would love to see comparable research on how often people click on the sponsored links (from someone other than Google) that appear on the side of the page, rather than like Overture's, at the top. If you have anything on that topic, please send it my way.
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