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Eyes Linger Longer With Google Than Bing: User Centric Takes a Second Look

CHICAGO Jan. 27, 2011 eye tracking research initial study


User Centric, Inc. Chicago

Study outcomes showed a comparable number of participants viewing top sponsored links (~90 percent) across both search engines. However, these participants spent 22 percent more time looking at Google’s top sponsored links than Bing’s. For right sponsored links, Bing and Google didn’t significantly differ in the amount of attention.

Comparing sponsored links on top to those on the right in general, the study found the "eye hit rate" on the top to be at least three times higher and gaze time to be at least five times longer than on the sponsored links on the right. These findings should be of high interest to advertisers who can get more value out of their ads than only click through rates. They should take advantage of the attentional edge for top sponsored links, particularly on Google.

Potentially more intriguing are the organic search results findings. Before making the first click, participants spent 27 percent more time looking at organic search results on Google than on Bing. "While more gaze time is good for sponsored results, the opposite is true for organic results," commented Aga Bojko, User Centric’s Chief Scientist. "Taking longer to make a decision and scanning more results may suggest lower perceived search results relevancy on Google. According to past research, users tend to scan search results until they find the first suitable link to click, so more time spent on Google could mean it took longer to find a link worth clicking."  

Robert Schumacher


Pamela Stoffregen-Gay

Phone: (630) 320-3922

SOURCE User Centric, Inc.

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