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Friday, Sep. 5, 2008 at 7:18 am

Why Rank #1 in Google

By Bryan Eisenberg
September 5th, 2008

Google has become the 8000 pound search Gorilla. During their meteoric growth there has been a trend that people’s expectations have gotten higher and their attention span shorter. There was a time when people would click though a page, two or even three of search results, but that is not so common any more. Today, if you don’t rank in the top 3,  searchers will barely notice your listing.

Our good friends at Think Eyetracking recently completed an eyetracking study and compared it with an eyetracking study they did in 2005 for people looking at a Google search results page.

In this is a case a picture is worth a thousand words:

search_behavior eyetracking heatmap

 

As seen in the heatmap above, fixations are studded around the top 5 results and the majority of clicks are upon the top 3 results (discounting the sponsored link). The sponsored link was actually not well attended to due to the fact that searchers are now familiar with advertiser placement within Google. The 2008 heatmap supports the recent trend observed by Cornell University (Their study found that the top 3 Google results get 79% of all clicks) and by AOL (Findings were that 63% of clicks were concentrated upon the top three search results).

What do you do when you don’t find your results right away? The same as 86% of the respondents who replied that they would modify the search terms or refine the search by category.

What do you think will change over the next 3 years in searcher behavior?

One thing is for certain you better still rank at the top and then be sure you can covert them to sales, leads, etc.

Add Your Comments

Comments (144)

  1. Whilst I agree with some of the findings you have put forward, I also wonder about the following.

    The 2008 page appears to have no sponsored listings above or to the right of the organic search, be interesting to see the eye tracking with those present.

    You only really convert if a company has a product or service that people are searching for (a specific problem or need requiring a solution). What are the effects of a company using keywords for products they don’t have? This would result in the person going back to search results again, perhaps looking further down page one or onto other pages. The knock on effect may also be that they come to distrust the top 3 on page 1 over time….

    Mike Ashworth
    Marketing Coach and Consultant
    Brighton and Hove, Sussex, UK

  2. Mike,

    Of course you can only convert if the result is truly relevant to the searcher’s needs. When the results are manipulated for ego rankings without regards for the searcher’s needs for relevance then the searcher continues to the next competitor.

    Bryan

  3. I think it’s interesting that in 2005 the search query box was a hotspot, where in 2008 its not even luke warm. Although light, the last page in the Google page advancement selections at the bottom (pg 10) is lightly warm where as in 2008 nothing down below is.

    Is it possible that also that the results are becoming more relevant in 2008 than 2005, or has our patience lessened?

    Mike: The 2008 page does have sponsor listings at the top in the pinkish background.

  4. oops, missed that. I guess because a lot of the searches I conduct have a few sponsored links at the top and also a lot more down the right hand side.

    For a more thorough statistical balance they should really have put forward a number of different pages with either just organic results or a lot of sponsored links as well, and a variety in between. Rarely do people I know who search as Consumers end up with a page that looks like the one on the right.

    Mike

  5. Good stuff, Bryan – very useful.

    No study/data on paid ads?

  6. I’m feeling lucky.. :-) )
    M.

  7. Where’s the eyetracking study for Cuil? Will the heat map show the top two or three results as being hot?

  8. Very interesting Brian, thanks for posting that.

    It would be interesting to see what the results are like for a local search, and the impact that the “ten box” has had. Anyone know of any studies?

    Cheers, Jon

  9. Hi Mike, thanks a lot for the very interesting article, is there any chance you might have a larger image? I’d like to be able to print it off and use it in a presentation. Maybe a link to the image below the embedded version? :-)

    Thanks!
    Matt

  10. Replace Mike with Bryan and I will be happy. Sorry Bryan.. :-)

  11. “replied that they would modify the search terms or refine the search by category.”

    Now they Google is providing those modifications via drop down menu when the initial search is being completed, I have to think that more people will choose a more relevant search to begin with and thus stay even closer to the top of the page than the 2008 image shows.

  12. Just reinforces that producing targeted copy relevant to the searcher/potential customer is crucial and narrowing down keywords is also vital to to be on top.

    You can learn more about this topic at Pay Per Click Summit LA, Sept. 25-26!

  13. Funny enough, I’ve observed this same behavior in myself! A few years ago, I’d often look through 2-3 pages of results. Now, I rarely look beyond the top half of the first page.

    I’m usually skeptical of eye-tracking studies, as the results depend so heavily on the instructions given to participants. Also, are we really comparing apples with apples here? The search results were probably very different. Those reservations aside, it’s a fascinating study and rings true.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Michael

  14. Great stuff. There are people out there still saying the google ranks don’t matter !

    Olavo

  15. If you don’t want to pay massive amounts of PPC ranking #1 – #2 is a must for mass traffic generation!

  16. Thanks Bryan,

    The eye tracking visuals are always great, when clients ask why being on the 1st page isn’t enough anymore, for maximum, relevant traffic.

    It’s even more important here in the UK with Google’s Search in June being used by 87% (yes that’s right) of searchers.

    The guys I feel are right about PPC though and being near the top for both PPC and Organic has a tremendous effect as all the studies have shown.

    Thanks again for doing the hard work for us!

  17. Basch,

    We have now posted our findings of visual behaviour when using Cuil also, http://thinkeyetracking.com/wordpress/

    Cheers, Lizzie.

  18. Hi Bryan,

    Very true. And if the next competitor also has results based on non relevant keywords?

    I wonder what the impact on the “reservoir of goodwill” that the person searching has towards search generally if they keep finding that the top spots are as a result of manipulation of the results with keywords tht aren’t relevant to the search being performed.

    I feel that this can have an impact above and beyond just that one Company who is manipulating the results, It could effect Search generally.

    As there are only so many spots on page one that Companies can have, and if the trend towards non relevant keywords continues I feel that we’ll see a trend towards personal recommendations again….being notable for something other than a page 1 listing

    Mike Ashworth
    Marketing Coach and Consultant
    Brighton and Hove, Sussex, UK

  19. Wow.. nice.. 2008 Search Behavior. Cool

    Just SEO It
    Admin

  20. The way I see it, Google is just more refined than it used to be. The reason I usually don’t go past page one is because the info/site is in the top 4-5 results. 3/4 years ago, I would go past page one because the info I wanted was not one the first page… At least, that is how I see it.

  21. Quite big fluctuations in search behavior.

  22. Interesting post. I must admit that my own search behaviour is that of what you described. I very rarely go from the 1st page of the results. I don’t even just use Google anymore – it depends what I am searching for but I tend to use local searches quite a lot like Yell, and then if there’s discussion I am searching for I would use Twitter’s new summize search.

    I think good titles and descriptions are even more important now, not for SEO but to attract the searcher to your site, or in my case blog.

  23. If you cant be in the top 3 at Google, then you better be optimizing and testing what you do have to get the most out of your existing traffic (well, you should be doing that anyway).

  24. Why Rank #1 in Google…

    Our good friends at Think Eyetracking recently completed an eyetracking study and compared it with an eyetracking study they did in 2005 for people looking at a Google search results page….

  25. For those saying that they aren’t comparing apples to apples here – it does not matter really. The 2008 results are the only results that matter because the 2008 SERP’s are what are being shown to visitors.

    And LOL at the people talking about competitors ranking when they don’t have relevant keywords on the page – yeah like it’s that easy! Maybe if you’re keywords are 8 word longtails that get 3 searches a day. Any company that knows how to “manipulate” the results *cough inbound links cough* isn’t going to waste their time and energy on showing up for irrelevant searches.

  26. That’s very interesting and something i’d thought for a while (about the top 3 getting the most attention). I think i’ll bookmark this post to show my friends who also create websites. Thanks.

  27. The Cuil heatmap mentioned in Lizzie’s post is probably comparable to behavior on a Google page with sponsored listings. I wonder how long before Google switches the sponsored listings to the left.

  28. In reading the methodology for eye tracking studies I failed to discover in their available literature some important key considerations when evaluating their results: 1) was the test subject scrolling; 2) did the test subject click to the next page of search results 3) did the test subject use the back button if he arrived at a site that did not fulfill his need and if so, what did he do next. Regarding scrolling, a test subject may tend to fix his eyes at the top of the page and let the scrolling deliver the new information, eliminating the need to track with his eyes. Concerning the second point, if the test subject clicked forward to new pages, did he continue to fix his eyes toward the top of the page? Or was their a variation in eye tracking patterns that occurred? Additionally, during the test was the test subject told he was permitted to click forward to access additional search results pages? Did he know it was okay for him to use the back button if he didn’t find what he wanted? On face value, the study is very interesting and may prove extremely valuable but I think less so for ranking than for website usability. I think it has been well established that top organic listing positions, and especially top PPC listings, garner more clicks. But even companies competing for the same keywords and phrases are differentiated by such things as size, cost, clientele, services, products, etc. It may take a searcher clicks on 25 different listed websites before he finds a company that matches his needs. Top listing positions are desirable but not the principal concern. Speaking to your target audience and delivering what it needs is in my opinion the principal concern because that is what brings you business. Also in my opinion, eye tracking studies are most useful to website layout development. I am hard pressed to believe that a person searching will only click on the top three results and nothing more even if he doesn’t find what he wants. So I do agree with you, Bryan, that everything possible (and ethical) should be done to achieve high rankings and sales, leads, etc., but with the qualification that high rankings don’t necessarily lead to sales and leads.

  29. Hi Bryan,

    I have seen this heat study before, from the guys over at Stompernet, and have to agree from our own tracking that if we fall out of the top 3 for local search in our category in Google our leads fall off.

    Also, have noticed lately Directory listings (hotfrog.com) and classified ads (galaxy.com) will jump onto the first page immediately after they are listed.

    Anybody see this happening? How do we combat with our websites? Or do we just join in and continually post listings on these classified ad sites?

    Mark

  30. I think that in reality the searchers are getting lazier. Searchers are not scanning results, but rather making assumptions that top results are on target. Google’s personalized search results are creating tunel vision for many searchers. I think the eye patterns prove that out.

  31. Interesting post. It’s as if searchers aren’t looking for anything below the fold, as they say in journalism.

  32. Great piece Bryan. The visual groks!
    Bert
    (I posted at http://www.deckerblog.com)

  33. We noticed this trens with several of our sites. The problem is that it is getting harder to be at the top.
    I would like to see some comparisons with different searchresults with more sponsored links.

  34. I would also be interested in seeing demographic data comparisons, for example: lawyers searching for barristers; teenagers searching for music downloads; modern marketing managers searching for website designers and so on. My expression here is low-brow but I believe who is searching; what they’re searching for and how they navigate (eg clicking on several P1 links and returning) may result in interestingly different heat maps.

  35. In an upcoming post I’ll show the psychographic differences people show in heatmaps.

  36. There was some further research at SES London (which I remember seeing you at Brian), by Piers Stobbs at Comscore, which suggested user behaviour had refined from limited searches, multiple pages, to a more multiple searches, limited pages approach, particularly the case in UK based searches.

    One thing I was suprised by in the images above, was the limited effect the ‘blended search’ result had on eyefall – however I would add – this possibly would have been significantly higher had this been included higher up the page (again goes back to positioning i guess)

  37. Eyetracking is useful, but it seems that the more useful bit of information would be click tracking. I might study the top few links on a SERP, just acclimating myself to the way the info is presented for my search terms (usually it is the case that one must parse the over-optimized top listings, in order to determine if the relevancy they promise is really on the mark, or if, as others have said here, they just manipulated their way into those slots.

    Regardless, after I have taken a few seconds to analyze the first few, I scan down the page a bit, and just as soon as I see the most organic, natural-language title and description that hits my needs, I click. I don’t look longer.

    If these heat maps are an indication only of what people are spending the most time staring at, then they aren’t terribly useful. But if they do take into consideration what top link positions are most often clicked, then we really don’t need to know what they spend the most time staring at anyway, do we? I like pretty colors, but the ultimate test of SERP position importance is and always will be clicks.

  38. Two things to be very cautious about (when looking at any piece of data):

    1] Methodology.
    2] Sample size.

    In this case, from the Think Eyetracking blog, the search term that was used was Oasis. If you were looking for the band the first few results are actually so strong that you would be silly to scroll any further.

    The search term influences where people look, what they do. The “map” for “digital cameras” might be very different (actually is very different).

    The sample size is 30. Hardly enough to make the kind of extrapolations that we are making in 37 prior comments about global customer behavior.

    So: (Methodology and Sample Size) + Relevance to you = Magic. : )

    -Avinash.

    PS: Let me hasten to add that I am not saying the first three results are not important, I am not arguing against the need for a robust SEM (SEO + PPC) strategy. I am simply trying to caution against jumping to conclusions without a proper internalization of what is behind the data.

  39. Excellent observations Avinash.

    Interestingly in the original article on “think eyetracking” they state the following

    “Nowadays to compete competently, you must know your customer’s search words, and land in the top 5, if not top 3 results.”

    If only it were that easy… You must actually know the search words, phrases and terms of people who are “not yet” your customers.

    Once I am a Customer I’ll be looking for other things to keep me hooked :-)

  40. Precisely the point I made earlier. I agree with you wholeheartedly, Avinash.

  41. Nice study, but I think Avinash has a very valid point when it comes to making conclusions without taking in account the methodology and the sample size.

    Besides that I think search engine listings should not be a KPI for measuring the succes of SEO. I just wrote an article about that at Yoast.com “Measuring SEO: why rankings are worthless”:

    http://yoast.com/measuring-seo-rankings/

  42. It would be interesting to see heat maps from B2C buyers vs. B2B buyers as they have very different perspectives on sponsored ads. The burning question all B2B marketers want to know is: “Are Google AdWords really for us?” For example, if I’m searching for a new consumer product, you better believe I’m looking at the search results and the AdWords ads because I want to know where I can buy it and who has the best deal or sale going on. However, if a CIO is searching for a business software application, there may be much less focus on the AdWords ads because maybe price is not as much of an issue as company reputation and the ability to meet technical requirements. Any comments on this?

  43. I think it all depends on how much those results are satisfying. If you see that first result is not described clearly or you know it’s not that what you’re looking for you just move down to next point.

    would be good if we could know what keywords were used for this research.

  44. I’ve just seen an article from one of the Internet Marketing sites (those guys are often very quick on this kind of thing) pointing out how Google Chrome’s predictive search could result in yet further dominance for the number one spot.

    http://www.milliondollarchronicles.com/seo/google-chrome-just-changed-the-rules/

  45. I agree about the difference between B2C and B2B.

    I think the B2B Market is vastly different and in many ways the best ways to reach them is through effective thought leadership, positioning of your Company as an expert in it’s field, through the provision of whitepapers, web seminars etc.

    The things above can be communicated both through natural and paid search.

    The New Rules of PR ebook from David Meerman Scott has a great example of how Webex use such Marketing (example to be found on pages 9 and 10)

    http://www.davidmeermanscott.com/documents/New_Rules_of_PR.pdf

    Mike Ashworth
    Marketing Coach and Consultant
    Brighton and Hove, Sussex, UK

  46. I expect seo and ranking to change a lot in the near futher when Google is more personalising and localising search results.

  47. @Digitale
    I don’t wanna be to spammy, but that’s exactly what I point out in my article “Measuring SEO: why rankings are worthless” :)

    http://yoast.com/measuring-seo-rankings/

  48. Pay attention to these kind of rapid results.

    Most of the time people haven’t taken the time to get familiar with the basics of human behaviour. Results : “Poor methodology is especially common for eyetracking studies, and thus most published studies in this area are wrong.” – Jakob Nielsen (2007)

    http://www.simplifyinginterfaces.com/2008/08/many-people-without-a-grounding-in-behavioural-user-research-principles-use-bogus-methodology-jakob-nielsen-2007/

  49. Marc,
    I couldn’t agree more with Jakob Nielsen’s point and to this end Kara Pernice (Director of research at NNg) and I have had several long discussions over the years about what is an appropriate methodology to employ when using eyetracking in usability studies.

    The methodology employed in these two pieces of research was Post Experience Eyetracked Protocol (PEEP). PEEP has been shown to have several significant advantages over Think Aloud Protocol and a non cued retrospective protocol in this paper published at Human Computer Interaction 2007; http://www.psych.lancs.ac.uk/people/uploads/LindenBall20070828T120550.pdf

    I’ll be giving a talk at the British Computer Society in Cardiff on the 8th of October 2008 on how we have further advanced the PEEP methodology, I hope to be able to video it and put it on YouTube and will notify you when this happens.

    In the mean time I’m happy to share the paper I gave to the UK Usability Professionals Association in 2006 on PEEP. Please email me on rob@thinkeyetracking.com if you would like a copy.

    Robert Stevens.
    Chief Executive Thinker

  50. Great post. I agree that mostly visitors only look at first 3 listings in google search. I think getting into those rankings is very important. Not only it means more traffic but most of times some people who don’t know logic behind how google ranks pages, these people treat sites coming first as more credible .

  51. I really depends on what market you are in, our customers are a lot more detailed oriented, and look further than just the top 3. The top 3 gets a lot of traffic, but mostly low quality traffic that doesn’t convert as well.

  52. I think it’s important to note that searchers are also getting more skilled and sophisticated at using the Google search engine to find what they’re looking for.

    In particular the average searcher today knows how to use “long tail” keyword phrases to laser target in on what he/she is looking for.

    And how to immediately search for another phrase if the immediate search results are not what he/she is looking for.

    The good news is that it’s a whole lot easier to get to # 1 on Google for long tail keyword phrases.

    And if you can get top 3 rankings for 20, 50, 100+ long tail keyword phrases you should get a ton of traffic.

    Kindest regards,
    Andrew Cavanagh

  53. Bryan,

    When I first saw that 2005 heat map, I shouted “BS” (the long version), because our studies had shown that most searches didn’t even result in a scroll down the page. That study must have been done with an awfully tall monitor. :D The 2008 map looks a lot more like the behavior we’ve expected of searchers for at least 3 years.

  54. Are these pictures of the same search carried out in 2005 and 2008? I think it also has a lot to do with how powerful your brand is! Better the devil you know

  55. Dan,

    The results from 2005 were published at HCI 2007 after going thru academic peer review, you can read the paper here: http://www.psych.lancs.ac.uk/people/uploads/LindenBall20070828T120550.pdf

    The monitor was 1024 x 768, moderation was carried out by Dr U Armitage who happened to do her own PhD on usability testing methodologies.

    It is not BS.

  56. Not BS, perhaps, but also not an attempt to measure normal searcher behavior. Would you agree with this, Roert?

  57. I would agree that this will change dramatically for difference search phrases/markets, but the trends are moving towards the 2008 graph.

  58. Hard to compare the two graphs, since they are based on different queries. The 2005 image looks like a 5-word query, the 2008 image is a one-word query. You would expect them to look as they look, no matter whether the image was taken in 2005 or 2008.

  59. It’s really important to be careful with such conclusions. The results of the Think Eyetracking test shows a usage pattern in diffuse attention mode (almost the entire interface had been visited).

    In order to show a behavioural pattern in which the attention was indeed focused, we have done a user test on Cuil, in which we have asked user to test a real life scenario.

    http://www.simplifyinginterfaces.com/2008/10/il_est_important_detre_prudent_avec_du_eyetracking/

  60. it´s really interesting in which way the user klicks changed in the last view years.

  61. Hm, I think it depends on the experience a user has – if I really think about it my behaviour is just like the “2005 search behaviour”. I’m a advanced internet user and I know that the first result are’nt always the best ones. Beginners show a tendency to the behaviour like “2008 search behaviour” because they click all too often on the first results.

  62. Hey Great Information!

    I am team leader for the http://www.SearchPittsburghHomes.com team at Keller Williams Real Estate Pittsburgh. In this supposedly terrible home sale economy, our team is actually up almost 30% over last year. It is definitely because of the work that I put into getting the website ranked and being able to convert leads to clients.

    I have done extensive Google PPC advertising and can tell you all that we get good response to paid search ads that appear either at the top or the side of the page anywhere from 1-4th position. Actually, I think that the number one position is a little less effective on paid ads then 2-4.
    We are optimizing for extremely popular (and expensive for ppc) search terms like:
    Pittsburgh Real Estate and Pittsburgh Homes For Sale.

    The other thing that we’ve noticed is that most consumers dont recognize the difference between naturalized and sponsored search results as long as they find what they are looking for.

    Hey good luck everyone, thanks for the great info and I’ll be watching this site!

    Eric

  63. [...] stacks of research around that people tend to only look at the first 5 or so results when they use a search engine. So it’s critically important that your website is properly [...]

  64. This study would be very informative, if there were Google-Adwords on the right side, so you could track how important Google-Ads are.

  65. I find it shocking. The top sides are even better and the new pages have no chance.

  66. @ Hörnum – there is a similar study somewhere, that takes the adwords in account

  67. Some findings from germany. I’m an emarketing consultant from cologne, germany and have access to some google analytics client accounts and other statistics. Over the year 2008 i can see that users are clicking on serps on the second and third page. Only organic results, not paid ones. Although not statistically valid I can’t agree that only the first three listings are relevant. But this is the german market, not the american.

  68. As I also do some research with eyetracking I have to drop a short message. It’s really difficult to make clear and unique results, so it is very important to know how many person were involved in this studies.

  69. [...] Bryan Eisenberg argues if you don’t rank in the top three positions on Google, searchers will barely notice your listing. [Future Now] [...]

  70. Ranked in the top three is indeed very important, but the conversion rate is also very important in order to get the best returns.

  71. The heatmap has changed a lot the last couple of years. People are aware of the advertisements and a large percentage only scans organic results. This is one of the reasons why companies should invest more in SEO.

  72. Its right that if your business is listed on top 3, definitely you will get more exposure, but i think your site is atleast within top 10, your company would be consider as a good one.

  73. I’m not sure if this heatmap is really so clear like it seems to be. I’m sure that there is more happening than the eye-tracking in someone’s mind.

  74. I do believe that knowledge about the possibilities of manipulation through seo will eventually spread to the average Google user and their surfing habits will inevitably adapt. It is striking how much your movements on the web change once you are aware that “organic” search results are not necessarily natural, but the result of a bidding war between customers of seo companies.

  75. I agree with your finding. rank on top three is very important. but it’s on 2008 how 2009…..

  76. [...] Why Rank #1 in Google [...]

  77. i agree absolutely with you here.iám since 2 months with my hotel homepage (http://wwww.urlaub-kruen.de) with my keywords “Ferienwohnung Krün” on an a better psoition and i have more bookings.

  78. Isn’t it wonderful now that Google throws advertisement links up in those first 3 positions for all it’s users. Anybody remember, go.com? I think that was the name. 100% advertising driven web search. Google is about 3 years away from that, so whoever has the biggest wallet will influence Google the most. Kinda the same way politics works today.

  79. [...] now than ever. posted by Nate Nead on April 23rd, 2009 • No CommentsRecently, I came across an article outlining Google eye tracking studies outling the reasoning behind why companies want to rank high [...]

  80. [...] has an interesting heat map that once again proves that being at the top of Google’s search results is an incredibly valuable position for generating [...]

  81. I wonder why the reddest area is on the 3rd spot or are sponsored results inlcuded in that picture?

  82. I think they are not included..

  83. No they are not

  84. Now you have to look at eyetracking studies of Bing. These are completely different from eyetracking-studies of Google. Very interesting to see both.

  85. Very interesting Brian, thanks for posting this info. GREETINGS FORM GERMANY!

  86. It’s surprising how relevent this article is now. Especially with the release of Bing and the so called next generation search engine.

    Thanks for sharing originally, glad it’s still ranking.

  87. Bryan thank you for this nice article, it’s still relevant in 2009!

  88. It shows the same trend, that can be seen by analazing people’s “click-behaviour” in terms of google adsense . people began discovering a website at the upper left corner. In consequence the click-rate there is very high

  89. I fully agree with Joe

  90. It is true that even top 5 anymore does not cut it. If you are not in the top 3, you are losing most of the traffic for that keyword. The exception is if you have a captivating title and description that can catch a visitors eye quickly.

  91. [...] Few could have predicted the meteoric rise of Google. At one time people would click through search results to the second page and even on to the third. Today, not so much. A study by Cornell University found that the top three Google results got 79% of all clicks, a staggering amount. This corroborated an eyetracking study by Think Eyetracking which showed that compared with 2005, users search habits are predominantly impatient. Thanks to grokdotcom and Bryan Eisenberg for the heads up on the search behavior difference. [...]

  92. Bryan thank you for this nice article! Its realy crazy.
    2009 is the same

  93. Really great website!

  94. yeah, the people get smarter and smarter..

  95. thabks for posting this article bryan!

  96. Excellent article and great website, bryan!

  97. I can only speak for myself. In my case it depends on how much these results are satisfying. If in my opinion the first are not what I am looking for I just move down to next results. Sometimes I even drop the first page und have a look at the second page. But further I normaly don´t go.

  98. great article, the heatmap is very interesting, should i pin on the floor

  99. I agree. Best Regardsc mj

  100. Very interesting your article.
    Already added the site to favorites!
    Goodbye!

  101. Pretty cool! Thx!!

  102. In my oppinion the search behaviour already has changed a little. Often the first 3 pages are very commercial and i think that not what most people are looking for.Of course you cannot say that for every search but I think its becoming more and more popular.

  103. Very interesting to know…thanks for sharing

  104. Many Thanks for sharing these useful informations.

  105. Thank you for this interesting article. I have also noticed that user behaviour has changed. I think it all comes together with personal SERPs and the ads.

  106. Cool Heatmap! Thx very much

  107. thats right you will need a good position and a good shop with gread products

  108. It really gives us reasen why to be nr1. But I also think it is dangerous, because the trust of the people in google rises.

  109. Yeah Google is doing so much lately. Other companys can hardly fight Google anymore.

  110. Yes, I agree – we have became lazy. I used to look at the page 3 and 4 of my search results looking for the stuff I need. Now, we got so relayed on the Google and believe what search engine is smarter then us – we just look at the first 5 results (not even wishing to scroll down the window) – and if don’t find a right result just changing the query.

    What is the future of the search engine? Well, I saw that Google update, what provides you first 10 results from Tweeter and WEB2.0 – from most recent postings. My opinion – Just horrible. (Especially, then you look for some credible academics. You, cant quote twitter in your book reports) Original google – is my favourite : no bells and no whistles- just good search results.

  111. I just hope for some other companies to work against Google. The way its currently working is in my eyes very dangerous. Most of the people couldnt use the internet without Google.

    Regards

  112. I think we are starting to see the MS effect on Google, with people starting to look for the ‘Apple’ alternative.

    Digital Marketing Agencies are all looking to jump on anything that offers them an alternative to try and ensure clients stay with them or to squeeze more out of them. The reality is that Google is still mainly where it is at.

    I think social media is having a more dramatic effect than we realise on certain sectors and 2010 will show this.

    As for Google itself, as long as it stays true it will rule for the forthcoming future, just as MS has. It’s market share is just too strong to break, easily.

  113. We rank too ;)

  114. Its not hard to rank ;)

  115. Thanks for the awesome heatmap. Now I know why Google places the Adwords ads up there in the center of the attention.

  116. Ranked in the top three is indeed very important, but the conversion rate is also very important in order to get the best returns.

  117. I agree with all the others….PR seems to become a fetish ;)

  118. In my opinion the search behavior will change in the next years. Google knows these developement an tries to do everythink to spread the attention of the users.

  119. Well you know it is so obviously that a serious search enginge optimization results in a permanent higher income.

    But stil there are people who dont get that. Your article really helps those people. I think it is a good idea.

  120. That is quite a difference. But indeed shows how crucial it is to rank 1.

  121. wow long discussion,
    thx for usefull tipps..

  122. I know when I don’t find what I am seeking on the first page, I tend to clicked on the second page. Sometimes titles and description of what I am seeking is shown but the content shows a different story. Now that it is 2010 I find content posted way too long that doesn’t read right off hand what I want to know, I tend to leave the site and go elsewhere. I know I am not the only surfer who does this. This is why they say you should write a certain way for the reader and not for search engines too. I like this post, short, sweet, simple and get to the point. Good job!

  123. Fantastic! Thank you this is just the kind of information that is interesting to the reader. Keep up the good work.

  124. I agree with your finding. rank on top three is very important. but it’s on 2008 how 2009…..

  125. I think title and description keys are quite important beside the position in the surbs. It happens that there apppear some irrelevant sites with auto-aggregated (e.g. rss-sites) on top, so the user can decide which one to click by reading the snippet. Anyway, for business relevant searches the Adwords placements are quite popular and users with no seo background will be likely to click on these advertisements – if the catch phrase in the ad is good, I would also click on the Adwords thing… Google knows the how-to-get-something out :)
    Cheers,
    Heiko

  126. TOP 3 Positions in Google are what every Seo should try to achieve. The first 3 results of a search get over 80 to 90% of the hole traffic so every other goal would be a waste of time. (my opinion)

  127. I dont think number one is really that important but it has to be above number 5 i guess

  128. Very good article

  129. it is interesting in which way the user klicks changed in the last view months.

  130. Hello,

    its a good article.
    Google has the power on the web, without google the web is nothing.
    But, sometimes i think google is to powerful.

  131. In my mind Google is very very powerful. To powerful? Of course…
    Whats happen with yahoo? :(

  132. Everybody wants to rank TOP 3 or at least TOP 5. The difference in traffic for position 1 and position 10 f.e. is just to high to ignore.

  133. i think it doesnt matter whether your on place 1 or 2. both get the same traffic!

  134. I like yahoo more than google, because its far more easy to rank in the top ten if you know how :)

  135. Nice research. It indeed is vital to be in the first 3 position in search engines. I hear that a result in second page might only get around %0.5 of all clicks. That’s just pathetic :(

  136. Very cool.. it interesting to see how Google’s image search results are navigated because Google now offers image text ads in its ISERP

  137. Nice! Yahoo is easyer, but Google is more senseful ;)

  138. Google is thought of as the leading search engine this is why people are keep and try to get to number 1 spot.
    We have found that if you use Yahoo you will also see how your site is climbing up the SERPs before you actually reach top spot on Google – usually 7 days on yahoo in advance of Google.

    Hope it helps.
    Graham

  139. If you want to be successful in internet marketing you have to understand how google sees webpages…

  140. the traffic the first top 3 gets, depends on the keyword.
    In a lot of cases the first one got nearly all traffic if the site figgers the needs of teh user

  141. That’s a pity. The first get’s all and for the next ones there are no visitors left.

  142. I´m interested in the Search behaviour in 2010. Will there be an new article soon?

    Greetings from Germany,
    Festplatten

  143. interesting stats and still quite up to date. If you cant be in the top 3 at Google, then you better tweak and test in order to increase conversion to get the most out of your existing traffic

  144. The search is getting personalized at quite a few levels. Even Google is slowly implementing such changes which can over time drastically change how people searches. But I’ll stick to writing quality, valuable content and rest, leave it all on Google.

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Bryan Eisenberg, founder of FutureNow, is a professional marketing speaker and the co-author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark and Always Be Testing. You can friend him on Facebook or Twitter.

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