The study, executed by Eyetools proves conclusively that most eye tracking activity on a Google search return happens in an F-shaped pattern at the top of the search results.
The study gave 50 people five different search-engine tasks, and the results clearly demonstrated that search result visibility falls away quickly from the top to the bottom of the page. Here are the percentages of participants who looked at returns in each position on page one of Google search results:
Rank 2 – 100%
Rank 3 – 100%
Rank 4 – 85%
Rank 5 – 60%
Rank 6 – 50%
Rank 7 – 50%
Rank 8 – 30%
Rank 9 – 30%
Rank 10 – 20%
Click-through behaviors also dropped off even more rapidly on search results that required users to scroll down the page.
There are no big surprises here, for those of us who pay attention to click-through behaviors, compared to search result placement for the websites we administrate, but it's always nice to have your beliefs verified by new, scientific means.
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