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The triangle extends across the top natural search result, then angles back to the left of the page down to the bottom-most “above the fold” result, typically in the third or fourth position on the page.This area was viewed by 100% of the 50 participants in the study.With both organic and sponsored search results, higher ranking results were viewed more often.Here are results for organic results (percentages represent the number of study participants viewing the listing): Organic Search Results Viewed: A similar, though smaller triangle effect was also observed for the sponsored listings on the right side of Google search result pages.The findings of this eye tracking study lend further credibility to the notion that organic search engine optimization is still critical to the overall success of a search marketing campaign.
The study found that most viewers looked at results in an “F” shaped scan pattern, with the eye travelling vertically along the far left side of the results looking for visual cues (relevant words, brands, etc) and then scanning to the right, as if something caught the participant’s attention.The researchers called this pattern a “golden triangle” at the top of result pages.A new study has added tangible evidence to the widely held view that top-ranking search results get the most attention from users, and that lower-ranking results are all but invisible to most people.The joint study conducted by search marketing firms Enquiro and Did-it and eye tracking firm Eyetools examined the eye movements of users viewing Google search result pages.
Sponsored Listings Viewed (right side): Here’s a screen shot of the triangle.
These results are preliminary; a full analysis of the results will be available soon.