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Eye Tracking Study Shows Real Time Results Ignored

 11:55 pm on Mar 10, 2010 (gmt 0)


Users ignore "real time" results in searches. That's the conclusion of some eye-tracking studies carried out on people doing usability studies with Google results, and it might not be good news for Twitter - which has done deals with Google and Bing to let them index its content and serve it up in the results for searches. Google is reckoned to be paying $15m, and Bing $10m - though the length of the deal isn't known.



 2:41 am on Mar 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

To be honest this doesn't surprise me, at all. "Real time results" are noisy.

The average Joe doesn't look for real time results; advanced users already know where to search for these. Mixing the so called "real time results" with organic results makes no sense right now. It may in the future, but now is just noise added to SERP's.


 3:39 am on Mar 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

I saw this eye tracking study from OneUpWeb last week, and my first response was "duh!" I already knew that my eyes don't track to the scrolling, real-time results so I wasn't surprised that the majority have the same experience.

Google's going to need to do something different if they want to play in this space for real. I'm pretty sure they will, too. They should have the data to see that this first implementation isn't really working very well.


 5:27 am on Mar 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm not totally sure what they expected. Real time search augments search, it doesn't replace it.

No tweet will effectively ever replace an article telling me how to rewire my hot tub, and as a user - even a new user to the Internet - I wouldn't expect to find results in a scrolling area. Scrolling real time results simulate news too much for consumers to be a substitute for factual, guide-type information.


 5:52 am on Mar 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

If you ask me it's just a bunch of clutter and no I don't read any of it either. This is definitely a "DUH" as Tedster points out and hopefully this real time implementation never overtakes the true core of search engines. If it does I think we are all in trouble. Your exactly spot on CainIV, it's like a ticker for watching stocks, CNN news, sports scores, etc., and who in their right mind would sit and watch the ticker when they can use the search engines for what they have been used for for years.


 3:48 pm on Mar 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

This gives me a little of my faith in human nature back. Including Twitter in SERPs without some sort of moderation (i.e. choosing whose Tweets to monitor, even if this is done algorithmically) is like those annoying vox pops on the news.

I don't watch the news to find out what some random in the street thinks about an issue - I want to see what leaders/politicians/campaigners - in other words informed professionals - think about an issue.

If I wanted noise / buzz / chatter I'd go to a social (search) site, not a search engine.


 4:10 pm on Mar 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

They should have the data to see that this first implementation isn't really working very well.

Having the data that something doesn't work hasn't stopped them from moving forward before, why should it now?

In their mind, it's the peoples habits that's wrong and they just need people to conform to the gorg way of thinking to make the world a better place and keep them profitable.

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