Archive for February 7th, 2009

Google Heat Map

Saturday, February 7th, 2009

The image below is a google heat map, which shows the areas on the search engine results pages that people view most.  Put simply, the “warmer” the colour, the more often the area is viewed.  These heat maps are created using eye tracking software and can provide many useful insights.

Of course, it’s no surprise that most of the focus is at the top of the page.  What is interesting however is the contrast between the top and bottom halves of the page.  After the first three listings, the attention drops sharply.  It seems that for most searches, people tend to compare the first few results before deciding which site is the most relevant.

There are two major points that this illustrates.  Firstly, there is a huge difference in the amount of traffic received by sites at opposite ends of the first page. Secondly, ad relevancy is often a more influential than position, which determining which of the top three sites is visited.  Surprisingly, people tend to forget that their site’s title and meta description constitutes an “ad”.  Of course it is important to have your keywords within these tags but not at the cost of readability.