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Archive for May, 2004

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Natural Results Preferred in Search Study

A new study examining the effectiveness of search engine advertising, in terms of users’ proclivity to actually click on it, helps us understand further the importance of natural or organic search results on Google. Amongst a number of conclusions one may draw from the study is that glaringly-obvious one of Google users preferring the natural results over the adverts.

The reason this is interesting in this instance is the search engine context in which the report puts Google. When compared with the other dominant engines; Yahoo, MSN, Ask Jeeves and Lycos, Google is by far the most satisfying search vehicle, with users of the other engines being frustrated by the lack of clarity about what is a paid result and what isn’t.

I find it ironic that the advertiser-centric use (and sales) to which this report was clearly targeted causes the consultant in charge to pontificate that Google is losing the ‘Ad Activity’ race. Regardless that due to its massively higher reach Google serves more adverts in total anyway, and that lack of clarity on the other sites promotes clicks on sponsored listings by accident.

(Filed in Blog, May 26th, 2004)