Google’s Search Results Get More Eye Time Than Bing’s


eye_smallADOTAS – Bing, you might be able to copy Google’s search results, but not the amount of time user eyeballs spend glancing at organic and paid search results. An eye-tracking study by User Centric, in which participants’ eye movements were recorded with the Tobii T60 eye tracker integrated in a 17-inch monitor, found that searchers spent an average of 14.7 seconds on ogling Google’s organic search results versus 10.7 seconds on Bing’s.

While 90% of participants viewed sponsored results above the organic ones for both engines, the eyes of Bing users spent 1.9 seconds on this area (0.7 seconds per result) compared to 2.7 seconds for Google (0.9 seconds per result). User Centric attributed this gap to Google producing larger amounts of sponsored text for the search terms used in the study.

Twenty-eight percent of Google-searching retinas peered at the sponsored results on the side of a search page for an average of 4.4 seconds versus 21% that gazed at Bing’s righthand results for 3 seconds on average. However, Bing users did spend more time on the lefthand side of the page.

For the study, participants performed an average of 48 searches a week, evenly split between Google and Bing, on a set of given search terms. User Centric was updating a study conducted in June 2009 when Bing first appeared in which 42% of participants looked at the sponsored side links on Bing while only 25% examined Google’s.


  1. What’s missing from this study is the click-through rates. It could be that Bing got less time because people found what they were looking for more quickly. If so, it’s good for users and bad for advertisers. Google’s sponsored links seemed to tie up user attention.
    The implication is probably that it is not in a search engine’s financial interest to make search results super user-friendly. If they make the results less clear, people are more likely to notice ads…


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