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Jakob on Google

Information Foraging: Why Google Makes People Leave Your Site Faster

     
3:24 pm on Jun 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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[useit.com ]

Not had time to read it yet but sure to be interesting...

5:56 pm on June 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Woohoo, Jake bites the hand that feeds. The title alone is a heart stopper:

Why Google Makes People Leave Your Site Faster

That's one of the best articles I've read in ages.

6:12 pm on June 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Just wants to make you go leave tasty morsels all over your home page to encourge the Informavores to stay.

Oh yeah - I forgot - not all my home pages show up.

6:16 pm on June 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Cute, but seems to me to follow his analogy much farther than it warrents. Empty calories, to quote him.
6:17 pm on June 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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More drivel from the desktop of Jakob. The obvious question in response to the title is, "Faster than what"? Faster than they did two years ago? 5 years ago?

I could just as easily argue that Google allows people to find relevant sites quickly, and because the site they find is relevant, surfers spend more time on the site they found than they did, say, 7 years ago. You know, when SE algos were in their infancy, or when hyperlinks were the way in which people found new sites.

Jakob has managed to point out the obvious once again, something copywriters have known for ages. Smack people in the face with pertinent info.

So, my question is still, faster than what?

6:23 pm on June 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Lot's of good stuff to read from the guys at PARC. Much better than what Jakob summarized.

[www2.parc.com...]

6:24 pm on June 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Yah I wouldn't want to pick on "number 6 of the Web's 10 most influential people" as I am probably number 9,000,000 or so.

However, it does seem a little obvious.....

And I think he meant faster than before google & always on connections....

6:24 pm on June 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>So, my question is still, faster than what?

Faster than before.

Great article.

6:24 pm on June 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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So I came up with a strange conclusion after this. IMHO.

It would make more sense not to have your website in the first few results of a google search. Users are most likely to "wonder off" to some other "tasty" place?

When I think about it, I always do that too. Because user wants to compare something that he/she found to some other results. But at times you get so sucked in into secondary results that you forget about first ones. Even if the first one might be a little better.

What do you think?

6:49 pm on June 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I too think this is a good article. Although, as digitalhost wrote, "Smack people in the face with pertinent info" is indeed a very old idea.
6:55 pm on June 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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People leave faster huh?

It would seem that because results are relevant people would enjoy what they find and stay longer.

Unless of course you want to argue that irrelevant results showing up in indices would somehow imbue the searcher toward more patience for reading sites that are totally irrelevant to what they were searching for.

>>Faster than before

That still begs the question, before what? Do you mean to say that the title should have been "Google Makes People Leave Your Site Faster Than Before Google Existed"? Seems kind of non-sensical... ;)

With all the recent talk about quality titles I have to say that the title of that particular article is misleading. What Jakob means is that with fast connections and the ease in which people can find relevant results, they simply don't have to deal with irrelevant sites.

>>Yah I wouldn't want to pick on "number 6 of the Web's 10 most influential people

I don't care if he's the number one most influential person on the web, a usability "guru" should be able to craft a more accurate title. Google doesn't make people leave a site faster, Google affords people the opportunity to find relevant information quickly.

7:06 pm on June 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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i see some truth in that title

personally speaking i tend to open the top few sites that look related from google results into new windows - and a quick skim through each tells me just which subtopics each deals with.

i certainly learnt from that article in terms of webdesign - it puts a lot more importance on the DMOZ description than i'd previously figured.

7:17 pm on June 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Interesting articles, thanks.

What I've learnt from it....If people leave my site too fast to realise what a Real Good Time they could have if they stayed, then it is my duty to them to delay their departure:

  • Hijack their back button!
  • Disable their keyboard!
  • Start an unstoppable Flash movie!
  • Pop up pop-up windas fasta than they can close 'em!
  • Leave some pop-unders for later!

    That's the only way I can think to get people to like me :)

  • 7:18 pm on June 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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    He took the analogy wayyyy too far, if the article hadn't been reccommended here I wouldn't have suffered reading it.

    What I found interesting about it is that he seems to be pointing out the transition between "stickiness" to "snacking".

    I am always trying to provide "sticky" content for my sites...so it's interesting to think that instead of trying to keep people on my site, I should try to shift away from that and provide content that people will keep returning to.

    7:18 pm on June 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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    As a user, Informavore, I do exactly what he describes. If I donít see what I am looking for in about 2 seconds, I am gone from that page. Back to the Google results. As I quickly go through the Google SERPS, I always "open in a new window" whichever single result I want to try out. If I have not found what I am looking for after popping up a couple of the first page results, I refine my query and try again. The only way that I will go back to a page / site for a deeper look is if one of the first 3-5 sites returns again in the SERPS.

    All this to day, I completely agree with the presented theory.

    Now as a webmaster, I am scared to learn that many others do the same... the best thing I can think of to combat this is to provide the Google search box right on my pages. Give the user the ability to search within my sites for better information.

    7:22 pm on June 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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    Typical consultant talk. Use some flowery expressions to state the obvious and charge a large fee (The article may be free but Jakob's time certainly isn't).

    If you got anything out of this drivel, there are many beginner site design and user interface design books that may interest you (Don't Make Me Think, by Krug comes to mind).

    Nothing original nor groundbreaking in the article. Like most of Jakob's stuff, he says a lot without saying much, IMO. Your mileage may vary.

    7:42 pm on June 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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    I like his navigation :¨p
    7:53 pm on June 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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    I think its a thinly diguised sales pitch for his useability conference.

    Its marketing nonsense applied to 'the bl**ding obvious' in an attempt to create a viral buzz for his conference, where there will be a 'full day tutorial'.

    I can't believe that such a renowned figure has sunk this low.

    8:24 pm on June 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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    PageRank of zero for this particular article..

    ..coincidence? I think not! ;)

    - Chad

    9:31 pm on June 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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    Jake bites the hand that feeds

    Is he? I think Jackob is merely highlighting that fact that elasticity is the new sticky.

    Old measurement: the amount of time user spends on your site. New measurement: the fact that anyone spends any time on your site at all. And having done so, do they return?

    10:16 pm on June 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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    Some interesting points, but man, Jakob really likes to milk a metaphor for all it's worth... "each site's information is its tasty venison" ??? :)
    11:21 pm on June 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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    Jakob did a great job of putting a complex theory into an easy to read short artical. It is informative, entertaining and if you have a open minded brain, it makes you think. I loved the artical. I linked it to my friends, who all tip'd their hat in thankful humbleness for the new resource. Thanks for the link =)
    11:47 pm on June 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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    I'm with Brett, good article.

    Its called marketing folks, better add that to your SEO :-)

    12:57 am on July 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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    I spent so much time adjusting my font size and window proportions then minimizing the other windows on my desktop to reduce the white glare that the article was bound to be a disappointment by the time I struggled my way through it.

    It said nothing new, unknown or unexpected.

    1:10 am on July 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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    Fantastic! Absolutely fantastic. I am especially certain of the scent attribute toward the end "DESIGN CUES".
    2:03 am on July 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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    >Its called marketing folks

    Ouch.

    2:13 am on July 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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    Oh please, every time some huckster unloads a bunch of BS someone is always quick to say it's "marketing".

    Bob Massa was "just marketing", Paddy Bolger is "just marketing" and Jakob unloads another piece of fluff and it's "just marketing. Discerning buyers aren't buying it...

    2:25 am on July 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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    Why Google Makes People Leave Your Site Faster

    Yes and thats I want and very funny for a e-commerce point of view!

    My point is, if I optimize a e-commerce site I want only 1, or at max 2, clicks of mouse to get the customer to get to their product they search for!

    Even with no navigation system (menu) in a site you can get a lot of customers directly to the page he request with is search!

    With a good optimization the client should get directly what is looking for, pass thru the cart and thats-it! If after, or before to go for the check-out, he look for others products, it is probably not only for the look and feel, but for the price.

    For a information site (vitrine) it is a very different approach for optimization.

    4:35 am on July 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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    I think its a beautiful article.

    So what is the take home conclusion for webmasters. I guess it tends towards "rich get richer" ie. quality sites get more percentage of total user time as people tend to leave poor sites even faster.

    4:52 am on July 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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    I'd like to know what the average stay is on most sites. I have no idea if my sites are sticky or not. What % of searchers just glance and move on, what % stay over an hour?
    This 69 message thread spans 3 pages: 69