Heatmap Study Reveals Changes in Google Search Behavior

According to a new study, The Evolution of Google’s Search Results Pages & Effects on User Behaviour, by Mediative, the prime real estate in search engine results has shifted, and businesses that are positioned lower on the page (positions 2 – 4 in particular) are seeing see more click activity than they did several years ago.

heatmap study

As seen in the heatmap above, users no longer focus on the top of the page, but rather look at many of the results on the page. The report indicates that since top organic results are no longer in the top-left corner: users look elsewhere to find them.

Mobile device adoption has also habitually conditioned searchers to scan vertically more than horizontally.

The number one organic listing still captures the most click activity at 32.8%, regardless of what new elements are presented. But findings from the report revealed that people are viewing more search results listings during a single session and spending less time in viewing each one.

The Gold Triangle Growing Irrelevant?

What is the “golden triangle?” Per research in 2005 from Eyetools and search marketing firms Enquiro and Did-it, the vast majority of eye tracking activity during a search happens in a triangle at the top of the search results page. The areas of maximum interest create a “golden triangle.”

The most recent study would indicate that there’s a new pattern emerging: a focus on the top search results, but then a viewing of the local search result map, as well as product results, and additional points of impact on the page. Paid search can give your brand views and attention just like a display ad, even if not necessarily garnering clicks.

heatmap study

Keywords, meta descriptions, content, ratings and reviews are all tactics that B2B marketers should consider when aligning their web pages with revised searcher behavior.

In addition, Mediative recommends having proper schema tags in place to ensure that Google understand page material and information as best as possible.

The study, which had over 50 participants and conducted all their research on Google search listings. Metrics measured for building the final report included time to first look, time spent looking, percentage of participants looking, and number of clicks.

“With little digging, you can see that KoMarketing’s team is frequently educating the SEO industry on best practices through articles, blogs and presentations. If you’re considering hiring an agency you want talented people collaborating to bring you the best search results possible – that’s what you’ll get with KoMarketing.”

— Katie Meurin, SEO Manager at Southern New Hampshire University

Start a conversation with the KoMarketing team:

Complete our inquiry form now