Live Coverage of Just Behave, A Look At Searcher Behavior at SMX West

Feb 11, 2009 - 5:55 pm 0 by
Filed Under SMX West 2009

Below is live coverage of the Just Behave, A Look At Searcher Behavior from SMX West 2009 conference.

This coverage is provided by Keri Morgret of Morgret Designs.

We are using a live blogging tool to provide the real time coverage. We will publish the archive below after the session is completed. In addition, you can interact with us and while we are live blogging, so feel free to ask us questions as we blog.

Just Behave, A Look At Searcher Behavior(02/11/2009) 
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Keri Morgret:  Jenni Tafoya, VP of comScore is up first.
Keri Morgret:  Overview of their methodology: Their qSearch share tracking universe reports on search activity observed from over 150 properties worldwide where search activity is observed. The have a lot of data.
Keri Morgret:  She's showing some statistics that are coming across the screen too fast to write down.
Keri Morgret:  Heavy searchers account for 63% of the volume of sarchers.
Keri Morgret:  Why is search in general up?

More people online this year than last
A larger percentage of them are searching.

Keri Morgret:  Consumers are being even more reliant on search than they used to be. they're on search two more days per month, and more searches per day.
Keri Morgret:  Both search engines and site search contributing to overall search growth
Keri Morgret:  Opportunities to expland search marketing campaigns outside of traditional search engines:

social networking
Keri Morgret:  Strong click growth, driven by organic click growth.
Keri Morgret:  Trying to hook up iPhone camera so I can upload pictures, which may put me briefly offline.
Keri Morgret:  When we look at just those searches wthat had a paid click, we find that peopla re clicking on fewer paid links -- maybe finding what they want the first time?
Keri Morgret:  What are consumers searching for?
- top categories are directories and resources, retail, and entertainment.
Keri Morgret:  Where are they clicking?
The most paid clicks occur on retail sites than in any other category.
Keri Morgret:  Other categories have a higher paid CTR, but retail has a higher monitization rate.
Keri Morgret:  She shows some demographic information for different types of searches.
Keri Morgret:  Takeaways:
The search market remains strong
marketers may want to consider moving some of their budget outside of the traditional engines, but engines still reign at driving traffic and quality leads.
Keri Morgret:  Gordon Hotchkiss is up next.
Keri Morgret:  We search, therefore we are. He shows trends for searches on foreclosures, recession, mortgages.
Keri Morgret:  It's a golden triangle slide!
Keri Morgret:  Small, Bookheimer, and Moody did a research study using fMRIs and searching.
Keri Morgret:  Looked at internet naive vs. Internet savvy. Had people read text, search internet. The internet naive had the same amount/place of brain activity when reading vs. searching, but internet savvy had a lot more brain activity when they were searching vs when reading text.
Keri Morgret:  He's giving us a brief lesson in neuranatomy, and giving me flashbacks to my anatomy and physiology classes.
Keri Morgret:  He's talking about peoples' brains get on autopilot when we do the same things over and over.
Keri Morgret:  Google did an eyetracking study four years after enquiro's classic golden triangle eyetracking study. Results look very much the same.
Keri Morgret:  He's showing a time-lapse of the heat map. Where do we look in first .5 seconds, next .5 seconds.
Keri Morgret:  Things to think about:
- much of our search behavior is done on "auto pilot"
- we search by habit
- as we learn to do this, we free up our brain to more fully interact with the results we see
- we become "fluent" in search
- we may "pattern match" to determine relevancy
Keri Morgret:  @outofmygord is his twitter address.
Keri Morgret:  Larry Cornett of Yahoo is now up.
Keri Morgret:  Yahoo! has a large amount of aggregate data, but none of it substitutes for getting out into the field and talking to real users.

Keri Morgret:  talking to users:
-explore issues users are having with current search experiences
- get their responses to products we've launched
Keri Morgret:  Methodology of recent study.
- Qualitative exploratory research
- 150 consumers
- Six cites in the US
- Asked what they desire in their ideal search experience
Keri Morgret:  What they heard:
- information overload
- text overload
- impresonal experiences
Keri Morgret:  Information overload: They're overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information returned. A user doesn't think w00t! when they see 2.4 million responses when searching for joe's restaurant in chinatown new york
Keri Morgret:  Text-heavy search results pages provide meager decision0making information
Keri Morgret:  Searchers are having to do a lot of work -- taking ntoes on paper for example. Search engine should be the one to do it.
Keri Morgret:  Impersonal experiences: the user repeatedly needs to introduce themselves to their search engine. If I say haircut I'm likely looking for a place to get a haircut, not a history of haircuts.
Keri Morgret:  What they need:
- The internet supports their life activity and search needs to keep pace
- understand their true intent
- provider richer, more personally relevant experiences.
Keri Morgret:  Richer experiences is a good thing. This is where something like an image in a regular SERP can help people know if they've found what they're looking for.
Keri Morgret:  If you sign in, Yahoo can give you personalization, at least on a geolocation level.
Keri Morgret:  Yahoo! Search Blog, SearchMonkey, and BOSS are places to learn more information.
Keri Morgret:  Ramez Naam is up next. He's the group program manager.
Keri Morgret:  He's going to go home and ask for a promotion, considering he's on a panel with a president and two VPs.
Keri Morgret:  How can you use data about the customers you have, their visits with you, etc. to improve your business and so on.
Keri Morgret:  He's going to try to tie back some of this information back to what the audience can use.
Keri Morgret:  Research on image search. On web search, about 10% of queries lead to a click on next page. 50% of image queries lead to a click on the next page.
Keri Morgret:  For live image search, they don't force user to go to the next page at all. This works for image, but not for sure.
Keri Morgret:  Takeaway: understand what your users do, then use this knowledge to help improve your business.
Keri Morgret:  We have wrong impression of searchers. It's not just one individual query, but we're seeing:

- most customer time is not on single-queries
- definitely not on easy queries
- customers engage in whole tasks
- tasks involved
-- trigger
-- research

Keri Morgret:  An example is a search for merrell shoes.
Keri Morgret:  Possible lessons:
Assume people will hunt around before they act.
Help them hunt
- good content
- tools for hunting
Draw them back
- good content
- stickiness of your product
Look at conversion in a new light
Thaink long term relationship and brand
Keri Morgret:  Q&A Time
Keri Morgret:  q: has there been a shift of the number of users who are more willing to go beyond the first page of results?
Keri Morgret:  Ramez: hard to quantify. When they improve relevance, number of people who click on next page drop.

Larry: people are more likely to requery rather than go to next page
Keri Morgret:  Ramez and Gordon also say that other langauges have different behaviors. When it's hard to type queries, people are more likely to click through to the next page. People spend a lot longer looking at the search results page, too.
Keri Morgret:  Not too many pictures for this session, the iPhone doesn't have the best quality in this situation.
Keri Morgret:  Question about demographics. comScore does have a way to profile demographics for specific search terms. Ramez has tools on the backend, but nothing to public.
Keri Morgret:  Ramez suggests looking at the analytics tool on the site, as there is a lot of information there.
Keri Morgret:  Gordon asks the panel if they've noticed behavior differences by age, looking at digital natives. Larry has seen differences with clicking on sponsored ads, but can't share exact data.
Keri Morgret:  Younger demographic has less patience, clicks back and forth, rather than examine serp.
Keri Morgret:  Ramez hasn't looked at the data in that way, but does look at things like how they got to the site, what browser they're using, etc. This does make a big difference. Someone running IE8 beta vs. IE6 has a very different behavior.
Keri Morgret:  Gordon asks what panelists are seeing about mobile trends. Market in general is exploding, particularly outside of US. There is the advantage of more reliable geographic data of user. It's a lower volume of searches, but it's a great chance to enhance loyalty with your customers.
Keri Morgret:  Ramez has an Amazon app for his iPhone, with 1-click ordering. Amazon has a great thing here, making it more likely that he'll use Amazon when ordering from his mobile phone.
Keri Morgret:  For search engine use on mobiles, the bundle of the engine that came with the phone is a big determiner of the engine they use.
Keri Morgret:  Talk about privacy and personalization. In general, make it known to the user that there is personalization, let the user opt out (or choose to opt in). Be very transparent.
Keri Morgret:  People are starting to see the convinence of giving up some privacy, especially with mobile.
Keri Morgret:  They want the functionality and better user experience.
Keri Morgret:  There are a couple of more questions, but my battery is running low and I'm shutting down.
Keri Morgret:  This has been a great session.


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