A report by marketing firm Mediative harnessed the power of eye-tracking technology to study the way people engage with Google search engine result pages (SERPs). Marketers can glean significant information by studying the way people interact with websites and make content adjustments based on their findings for more impactful websites.
The study tracked the eye movements of 53 participants who completed 43 common search tasks performed on desktop computers using Google. Mediative compared data with the results of a similar study completed in 2005. In that study, researchers found that users tended to focus their gaze on the “Golden Triangle,” which is the top-left corner of a search engine results page (SERP) where the first result was displayed.
However, the results told a completely different story. The Golden Triangle is barely relevant anymore – instead, users tend to scan more vertically and to vary their eye focus depending on what they are searching for.
This behavior change may indicate that users are getting savvier at the search. Or, it could be attributed to the use of mobile devices that condition users to scan vertically, rather than horizontally. And, Google may have contributed to the change, since it has altered the look of its SERPs in recent years.
Since Google is such a popular search engine, marketers try to optimize their content to perform better in Google search rankings, so information like this is extremely valuable. Eye tracking technology allows marketers to get an accurate assessment of the user experience since the eyes don’t lie.
What valuable information could an eye-tracking study provide about your website? Learn more about our eye-tracking research systems here.