The recently released iProspect Search Engine User Behavior Study, conducted on behalf of the SEM firm by Jupiter Media, reports that not only do 62% of search engine users click on results, but a full 90% click on results that appear within the first three pages. The study’s findings further emphasize the importance of natural search results, while also pointing to a change in search engine user behavior: the same numbers were only 48% and 81%, respectively, in 2002.
The study also found that 36% of users believe the first page of search results represent the number one brands in their respective industries. 41% will switch search engines, or change keywords if they don’t find what they’re looking for on the first page, 88% on the first three pages, and 82% will add more keywords to refine their search if they don’t find what they’re looking for.
“This study clearly shows the increased importance of being found in the top search results,” said iProspect president Robert Murray in a statement. “With 62% of users clicking on a result on the first page, and 90% doing so within the first three pages, the message to marketers should be clear, and the implications obvious. After all, 90% is a staggering percentage. If you’re site is not found on the first page — or within the first three pages of search results — you might as well be putting up a billboard in the woods”