alexsel - 3:03 pm on Aug 26, 2011 (gmt 0)
No they don't. They use it as a means to an end; to find something they are looking for. And once they find it, they tend to stop looking.
As been told by so many, people come to search engines to have their questions answered. It's the search engine's job to answer that question as quickly as possible.
Sure, some people comparison shop before a purchase, but that's only a percentage of the overall actual queries in a day. And some people here claim they would rather have a number of different sites, but that's an even smaller percentage. Most people just want to find what they're looking for and move on.
Depends on the individual and the industry. The travel industry is filled with comparison shoppers and on average takes 3-4 clicks to conversion. Users will typically start with the head terms, look at the results and conduct initial comparison of sites that they see. Then they'll leave SERPs, mabye for Tripadvisor or other review sites. Then come back to do another search, typically more long tail. At this point, they have either made up their mind or continue the research. Eventually, having been on your site 2-3 times, they'll search for your brand term, click and convert.
That's why funnels and the right attribution is so important. But again, much of search behavior depends on what industry you're in, type of product and price.