Google and User Behavior
There was a great interview on the web this week between Gord Hotchkiss and Marissa Mayer (Google VP responsible for usability).
Gord has always been one of my favorite marketers to hear from. He is the CEO of Enquiro, a search marketing firm that produces search engine user eye tracking studies and other research. He is also the current chairman of SEMPO, I believe.
In the interview, he discusses with Marissa several findings that they have had in their eye tracking studies. In turn, Marissa comments on why Google has done some of the things they have done.
Here are some quick highlights you may want to note:
Results show that Google’s presentation of search results are better than the competition (Yahoo and MSN). Yet, the actual quality of the results didn’t seem to be as much of a factor as how the results were presented. Google’s presentation made it easier to determine which results were relevent.
Google’s large amount of white space on the home page is still a major factor in how people view the search engine.
Google purposely keeps their paid advertisements along the right side in the same color as the natural results.
Google determines if a “one-box” showing local results, news, etc. by looking at the clickthrough ratio per query. If people click on the news instead of search results, they keep the new on top.
Google designs for 1024 x 768 resolution. Yet, they see as many as 30% of their users using 800 x 600 so they continue to appear professional for that resolution.
You can read the full article here.