Study: META Descriptions Very Important Search Results Click Through Rates

Aug 25, 2010 • 8:29 am | comments (3) by | Filed Under Google Search Engine translated a new eye tracking study done Spanish (PDF here) of how searchers look at the search results on a search results page.

Here is the break down of the study, but before you look at it, let me define a "fixation" in terms of eye tracking studies. As per Wikipedia, a Fixation online eye tracking refers to the test subject fixing on a particular portion of the page. It is used to determine which areas of a web page receive the most views. This is used to adjust where content resides on a web page to maximize its exposure.

SERPs fixations

The one thing that really stands out to many SEOs is the META description, or the search engine snippet. In all types of queries, the meta description is fixated over more and more time is spent looking at it. More than the big blue hyper link and more than the URL.

search result explained

Above is an explanation of the various parts of a typical search result. I would think the primary influencer for a click on a search result would be the title, not the snippet. But I guess people actually read those snippets, which can be pulled from your META description tag or dynamically curated by Google.

Much more on the study at

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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