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What type of searcher are you?
Please Be Gentle

 12:28 am on May 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

I don't know where else to put this, so please move if inappropriate.According to this article [searchenginewatch.com...] , there are 4 types of searchers. Which one are you normally?
a.Scan And Clickers:
b.Two Step Scanners:
c.Deliberate Researchers:
d.1-2-3 Searchers

I thought it interesting the way that female search patterns differ significantly from those of their male counterparts.

Kind Regards



 2:18 am on May 27, 2004 (gmt 0)


[btw, I'm female. And old.]


 2:41 am on May 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

D. with a twist :-)

I use Firebird 0.7 (keep forgetting to upgrade): I read each list item carefully (I read fast) and click "open in new tab" on each one that looks helpful. I run through the SE's first page of listings, click for next SE results page and while it loads (I am on dial-up) start opening tabs and scanning, closing if useless and reading thoroughly if relevant. And so on.

From the non-mention of tabbed browsing I suspect the users were on IE.


 4:50 am on May 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well, I'm kind of a mix between B and C. I read through the listings very quickly, but I generally at least skim every title/description, opening up new tabs in the background for anything that looks interesting. Assuming I don't find the answer on the first page, I will go to the next page. Sometimes I'll end up skimming as far as page 15, though I tend to pay a lot less attention at that point.


 7:10 am on May 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm a combination of B and D.


 8:41 am on May 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Generally, I'm a B, although I think it does depend on the sort of thing you're looking for, and how desperate you are to find it.

Somewhat worryingly that makes me an old man!



 1:40 pm on May 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think in general I am a 1-2-3 Searcher, but it very much depends on what I am looking for. With a group of only 24 people from the same country I think this research is more funny and entertaining than really a source to rely on.


 2:08 pm on May 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm not sure what type I am, since I can recall having used strategies B, C and D at one time or another. What the overall balance is, I don't know. I'd have to have a researcher watch me.

What surprised me was the suggestion that anyone might use the sponsored links. It has never occurred to me to look at these. I think I subsconsciously associate them with television advertising. If I notice a programme on commercial TV that I want to watch, I tend to record it and fast-forward the video over the adverts when replaying. Sponsored links are easier to deal with, since they don't even impinge on my consciousness.


 2:41 pm on May 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

What surprised me was the suggestion that anyone might use the sponsored links

I sometimes click on sponsored links, although I am highly aware that such links are going to try to sell me something. So if I'm looking to buy a widget I'll click on them. If I'm looking for a nostalgia site about widgets I used to have, I won't.


 5:04 pm on May 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Definitely a B

Somewhat worryingly that makes me an old man!

What's wrong with that?


 5:12 pm on May 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Modified C

Again, I'm a tabbed browser user, so most of the time, Ill open up the first 2 to 4 pages of results in different tabs, read through the lists pretty thoroughly, and open up a pile of extra tabs with what seems to be relevant results. Then give each of these tabs at least a quick scan before settling on the one that seems to be the most apropriate/relevant/reliable.

I agree that the focus group was too small. Habits like mine are out there, but its a small enough minority that it wouldn't even show unless a large sample was used.

Please Be Gentle

 7:19 pm on May 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hi all,
iamlost, I understand what you're saying about how dial-up impacts search patterns. You tend to open a page, go off and do something else while you wait for it to load. I just got broadband a couple of days ago and frankly I am losing the run of myself. I still search and surf as if I am on dial-up and it still disorientates me when things load quickly. (Sometimes I could go off and make a cup of tea or coffee while waiting for something to be either uploaded or downloaded - those days are gone!). Now I feel as if I've arrived before I've taken off and have no excuse not to do the things I have been putting off. The whole gender in searching thing interests me; another article the day before on searchenginewatch had a similar study and highlighted differences of this ilk. Ironically, it claimed that women don't go as deeply into search results as men, "44 percent of women said they don't go past the first page of search results, whereas 37 percent of men responded this way.". You can pretty much invent your own conclusions from these studies, but I liked the way this one categorized searchers. I also agree with grelmar that these are small studies and don't take important factors such as dialup, query types into consideration. Personally,I'm a C for the most part.
Kind Regards


 9:57 pm on May 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

iamlost: That's pretty much exactly how I do it at home with Firefox. At work with IE I'm a more C type, just because I don't want to waste my time drowning my desktop with 20 'potentially relevant' results.


 10:52 pm on May 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm a tabbed browser user

Once I switched to tabbed browsing, my entire behavior pattern switched. Add DSL to the mix and I'll open 20-30 sites from a SERP of 100 listings, then start browsing those in reverse order, opening links from each page into new tabs. It's disturbing (so I've been told) for other people to watch because I spend almost no time looking at any given page. Tabbed browser users also, I suspect, wreak havoc with behavior recognition in log files as their behavior is non-linear.


 12:04 am on May 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Definitely a 1-2-3 searcher here. Female under 30 ;).


 5:20 am on May 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

You mean there isn't a catagory for the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button?


 7:48 am on May 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Somewhat worryingly that makes me an old man!

What's wrong with that?

Well, I'm 26 and female!


 7:56 am on May 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Somewhere between B & C.



 12:39 pm on May 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm a combination of a B and C too, however, one option has been missed out which I think should be there:
e) SEO Rankings Checker:





 1:04 am on May 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Closer to b)two step than anything else.

Except I never look at sponsored results because I still can't help but see them as scummy little outfits using money to try and compensate for a lack of genuine merit.

(Sorry guys, I know it's not always the case but I've had this mindset since goto first appeared - not to worry, I never buy anything on the net anyway, so it's probably a good thing I'm not clicking...)

And also I tend to look at URLs as well as titles and descriptions. If the URL looks like this:


then I won't go near clicking on the result even if everything else looked encouraging.

And my average age isn't 42.

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