Google Using Eye Tracking To Study New Google Instant
In a recent post at the Silicon Valley Watcher, the author discusses Google’s new venture in searching: Google Instant. Essentially, Google Instant is an overhaul of Google’s previous way of doing things, making for a dynamic format that changes as users type in their query. Google is seeking to reduce the amount of minutes that people spend typing keywords, guessing what the person wants instead of waiting and presenting a page of listed results.
As the Silicon Valley Watcher says, it’s sort of a glorified “I feel lucky” button that doesn’t require a click from the user. The writer went to a 90-minute debut recently in which Google showed the results from an eye tracking study they performed with users Googling with the new format.
In the eye tracking study, results showed that users tended to look just underneath the search box, toward the strongest choice of results. With Google Instant, the dynamic nature of the page and changing text keeps users looking at suggestions that pop up as they type. Not only does Google think this is better for searching users, they’re able to actively guide their eyes towards specific sections on the page, forcing users to focus on search results when they’re coming up onscreen.
With the stationay page, eyes aren’t drawn to movement, and it can make for static and passive searching by a user.
One interesting thing, however, is that the Google eye tracking results showed that participants were mostly ignoring the right side of the page where Google places its text ads. Google’s Adwords provide two-thirds of Google’s revenue and a majority of its profits. Adsense appears on other sites and bring in the remainder, albeit a far less percentage of total profit. If Google’s search format improves to the point that people can find the site they’re seeking with only having to type a couple letters, is Google shooting themselves in the foot by lessening the opportunity to show ads on its own search pages? Google makes money by clicks on ads, not impressions. It’s an interesting question and makes one wonder how Google will deal with this challenge.
Overall, Google predicts that users around the world will save 11 hours each second when using “Instant.” But as the author of the article points out, that’s 11 hours in which Google users are not seeing the search ads.
Read the original post here:
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