Just Behave, A Look At Searcher Behavior

Feb 27, 2008 - 8:27 pm 0 by
Filed Under SMX West 2008

Moderator: Gord Hotchkiss, President and CEO, Enquiro Q&A Moderator: Gillian Muessig, President, SEOmoz

Short presentations from each panelists and then some panel discussion and mostly Q&A. Well, I am not covering the Q&A, so I guess this will be quick.

First, Gord started. How do we use search as an extension of our working memory? Working memory is.... We have different types of memory. Long term memory, etc. Working memory is not unlimited, we only have certain slots to fill. Working memory is a white board and long term memory is like a journal. So the working memory has limited space, let's say four to five slots.

He then goes through an example of thinking up laptop names. So in his opinion, people use search a lot to fill up these slots.

We as people have brand relationships as well. When we see a Dell ad in a search, each of those triggers something inside of us.

As we move down the buying funnel what happens is, there is a lot of options open to us. We would like to think we rationally weigh each option, but that is not really what happens because we arent that smart. So we cut it down to 4 or 5, and this is called bounded rationality. Then we go from awareness to satisficing, to comparison matrix to head to head.

He then shows the golden triangle to finish off his post.

Michael Ferguson, Senior User Experience Analyst, Ask.com to talk about "Transactive memory" and search.

The brain is only looking at the trillionth of what it could look at at any one time.

Transactive Memory was proposed by Daneil Wegner. It says we can work in group and it is knowing what other people know. Over time we have a collective brain forming. He gives examples of his friends and how he has friends with different talent. He uses his network of friends to help him make decisions.

So how does this relate to search?

He shows Wikipedia as an network knowledge system. But search in the last year is starting to become an expert with universal and Ask 3D by anticipating needs. But search doesn't give you advice or walk you through things step by step - that may come. So then we move to social networks and we can bookmark expertise; from Flickr, facebook to Twitter (Lisa Barone is highlighted in his Twitter slide).

You want your pages and brand to have a personality, be trustworthy, to be distinctive, be helpful, and be approachable. This adds up by making you referable.

Ben Hanna, Vice President Marketing, Business.com is now up.

Searching For Me vs. Searching for My Company - Two things to keep in mind: -- People are people and -- People are influences by context

People are People: - You are the same person at home and at work - Same physical and mental components -- Body -- Mind -- Memories -- Etc.

People are Influences by Context: - Limitations of mind ensure we respond to the social environment - Social situation creates discontinuity in thought and behavior - Context can affect risk taking vs conservatism, being action oriented vs passive, persistence on a task, beliefs about others, beliefs about ourselves, sense of time, speech patterns and more.

Multiple Me's - How I See Myself - How I Am (multiple selves)

What This Means for Search Behavior - High time pressure leads to search behavior that has greater cognitive lock in to start, faster scanning, reduced willingness to persist at search and greater frustration if cant find what one wants. - Higher risk... and more words

He then gave some examples but going fast.

As SEMS, you need to think about your audience and the context they are searching and make sure your a way point in the pursuit of their goal.

Laura Granka, User Experience Research, Google is last up.

- Google does hundreds of search user studies - Anonymized logs let Google look at millions of user queries in aggregate - One on one studies with users

Online Search is an Acquired Skill - Expressing needs as a query is very hard, users often start broad

Google is offering refinements to user queries

Rephrasing search needs is not always intuitive and shows the middle of the page rephrasing.

Familiar brands matter - Users often rely on trusted /familiar sites - Google uses Sitelinks for this.

Selecting a good result is hard - So for health information they offer labels

Users don't always know what's searchable online - Such as with local results, so Google offers local results in web search through Universal Search - Another example is a search on Laura Ingalls Wilder and i have a dream

Sometimes people just want a quick answer with searches for weather or time and so on.


Popular Categories

The Pulse of the search community


Search Video Recaps

Google AI Overviews, Ranking Volatility, Web Filter, Google Ads AI Summaries & More - YouTube
Video Details More Videos Subscribe to Videos

Most Recent Articles

Search Forum Recap

Daily Search Forum Recap: May 21, 2024

May 21, 2024 - 10:00 am
Google Search Engine Optimization

PSA: Site Reputation Abuse Policy Also Applies To Google Discover

May 21, 2024 - 7:51 am

Google's Sundar Pichai On AI Overviews Killing Web, Smaller Publishers & Search Console Data

May 21, 2024 - 7:41 am

Google Adds Visuals To About Source Knowledge Panels

May 21, 2024 - 7:31 am

Google AI Overviews Colors Do Not Indicate Confidence Of Response

May 21, 2024 - 7:21 am

Google Rolling Out More Graphical & Richer Search Results

May 21, 2024 - 7:11 am
Previous Story: In Depth with SEOmoz PRO
Next Story: Search Engineers Q&A