Study: Searches Ignore Real-Time Search Results


OneUpWeb released an eye-tracking study that showed how most searches ignore the real time search results. The takeaways from the study, as Greg Sterling recapped nicely include:

  • 73% had never heard of real-time results before participating this study
  • Only a quarter of the consumers cared for the real-time results compared to 47% of the information foragers
  • The majority of the participants surveyed were indifferent to the real-time results

The Guardian notes that these real time results cost Google $15m and Bing $10m - what is the return on investment for that then?

A WebmasterWorld thread has conversation around this where most people say they are not surprised by the study's findings. Just hard to imagine blowing $15 million on something like this.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Kyle Wegner

03/11/2010 06:52 pm

I think this study is a bit flawed. The shots I saw all had the RTS results at the bottom of the page while many RTS results actually load mid page or higher. My eyes are drawn to RTS results when they are moving - it's inevitable since they are moving - so to show little to no eye-interaction with the RTS results makes me think that something in the study was flawed.


03/11/2010 10:36 pm

The other thing that might be hard to measure accurately with this type of study, is the test candidates are actually seeking real time results. For instance, I often type a phrase in that triggers the real time results but I'm not looking for breaking news about it - so I skip over the universal result and move on; other times I look through the results as they are fresher than the standard organic listings.

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