Posts Tagged ‘Queries’

What Page in the Search Results do People Click On?

December 3rd, 2009 by Richard Zwicky

What page in the search results do people click on, and depending on that, how many pageviews should you expect, and how long will they spend on your site?

Last year, I made a post on this blog about how deep in the search results do people actually go before they clicked through on a result. At that point I found that the percentage of traffic from page one of the search engine results pages (SERPs) was increasing over time. I finally had an opportunity to revisit that data, and decided to augment the data with two additional pieces of very valuable information to web marketers:

  • Do visitors from page 1 in the SERPs spend more time on websites?
  • Do visitors from page 1 in the SERPs view more pages on websites?

I’m going to post that information in separate posts, hopefully over the next few days. I’ll also be posting information showing how visitors using different browsers spend differing time on site, and don’t all view the same number of web pages. Time permitting, I’ll also post how that’s true of visitors from different search engines, and dependent on the number of keywords they use in queries. For example if someone visits your site from a search engine and they used just one keyword to search, will they spend more time and view more pages than someone who used two keywords?

First off, the information about how your placement within the search results pages affects your visitor counts. The percentage of traffic from page one in the SERPs has continued to grow steadily, to the point now that if your website is not listed on page one of the search results, your business may as well be invisible. Remember, it’s not that you need to be found on page 1 for your brand name, although that’s useful, you absolutely need to be found on page 1 of the SERPs for terms which your customers are using to find your type of service / product / information.

What page in the search results do visitors visit your site from?
Please note there’s a gap in months, historical data is there to show the trend.

From this graphic, it’s obvious to anyone that if you’re not on page 1 in the search results, you won’t see much traffic. There’s still value to page 2, but it’s an ever shrinking fraction of page one referral traffic.

Of course, the data for the table is included here:

2007-04 2007-05 2007-06 2007-07 2007-08 2007-09
Page 1
85.50% 86.03% 87.18% 87.79% 88.07% 88.40%
Page 2
7.61% 7.52% 6.90% 6.52% 6.47% 6.44%
Page 3
2.84% 2.71% 2.48% 2.35% 2.28% 2.21%
Page 4
1.30% 1.19% 1.09% 1.04% 1.00% 0.92%
Page 5
0.82% 0.75% 0.69% 0.66% 0.64% 0.58%
2007-10 2007-11 2007-12 2008-01 2008-02 2008-03
Page 1
88.42% 88.47% 88.81% 88.90% 88.78% 89.71%
Page 2
6.47% 6.44% 6.23% 6.19% 6.39% 5.93%
Page 3
2.20% 2.16% 2.05% 2.06% 2.04% 1.85%
Page 4
0.92% 0.91% 0.89% 0.88% 0.87% 0.78%
Page 5
0.57% 0.57% 0.55% 0.55% 0.54% 0.46%
2009-10 2009-11
Page 1
95.24% 95.80%
Page 2
2.75% 2.44%
Page 3
0.86% 0.75%
Page 4
0.39% 0.34%
Page 5
0.22% 0.20%

Enquisite collects data from a network of web sites distributed globally. The data used in this reports represents web sites distributed globally, and reflects click through activity data.

How Long is Normal: Data Shows Normal Length of Search Query

November 10th, 2009 by Richard Zwicky

In honor of Pubcon Las Vegas, where I’ll be heading tomorrow, I’m going to post some more data which should provide meaningful insights to search marketers. First up this week is an answer to the question lots of advanced search marketers often ask me: “how long are most search queries?”, or in other words, “How many words are in most search queries?” I had one of our databases prepare a report on search query length for the month of October, so a poll size of ~40 million search referrals, so enough to be more than just statistically relevant.

Interestingly, four-word queries are more common than one-word queries, and five-word ones are almost as common! Five words!

The database pool used was general web search, and not skewed towards local search, so this breakdown is even more surprising. If it had been local skewed, then a preponderance of local queries such as “Best burritos in San Francisco” would explain the query length.

For the longest query, we actually recorded one search referral with 594 “keywords” in it. Likely it was someone was searching for exact copies of an article, either to identify plagiarism, or link opportunities.

So, if this is “normal” for the Internet, how does your site match up? Interesting to think of this as one more way to determine if your web site’s SEO strategy is healthy: distribution of query length. Not really longtail, what animal shape could we name this metric after? Dana Todd is great at naming these things; maybe I’ll ask her.

For those of you wanting the raw data - I didn’t have time to format the tables, so just put it at the end…

Words in Query Percentage of Queries
1 11.08%
2 24.56%
3 25.77%
4 17.68%
5 10.03%
6 5.36%
7 2.65%
8 1.36%
9 0.70%
10 0.37%