Click through rates show that the first organic result receives the most clicks, therefore, where you rank on search engines has a direct impact on how popular your web site is. Why do most of us not go further than page 1 on Google?
Reasons why we don’t scroll online
- Web search is quicker than searching databases. Most people do not go onto page 2 of Google because carrying out another web search is free and quick.
- Enjoyment. Searching is an enjoyable task. The majority of people don’t scroll to page 2 of Google because we prefer to carry out new searches, albeit slightly different keywords, because web search is an enjoyable activity.
- Trust. Organic results have more trust than PPC. Those who rank naturally at number 1 will get more visitors. We don’t scroll because we trust search engines’ rankings.
- Web search engines are well armed to resolve unusual queries. Most queries return hits and if they are unusual queries “search suggestions” are displayed for the search engine user to consider. We prefer to interact with web search engine features rather than selecting page 2 or 3 of Google.
- Scrolling takes too much effort. We usually carry out several searches in 1 search session. Only a few search engine users go through pages and pages of results because they have more time available or they are carrying out an analyses of some sort, for example, connectivity queries to count specific hyperlinks.
From information retrieval to web search
Search engines are the most common method of finding information online. Ranking highly on web search engines is important to every organisation because it can increase: visibility; brand awareness; and profits. Search engines attract millions of users every day.
Scientists, for example chemists, used to pay and only use expensive fees to search databases. The main advantage of paying a fee to access information from subscription services is to have the reassurance that the content is well structured and organised. Web search engines, however, have been getting better at precision and recall: Web search engines are good at retrieving sites that accurately match your query. Scientists are now using web search engines more because they are free and quick at obtaining good results.
Posted by Gerald Murphy
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- Glander-Hobel, C. (2001) ‘Searching for hazardous substances on the Internet’. Online Information Review. 25(4) pp. 257-266