MARLBOROUGH, 11/25/2009 – People who search by clicking the button on Google’s homepage are fifty percent more likely to go on to click an ad than people who search by any other Google means, according to online ad network Chitika. The study, which looked at just over 11 million impressions, shines a light on the possibility and importance of being able to predict web users’ activity.
When comparing the different types of traffic that come through their advertising network, the researchers at Chitika compared the different types of Google traffic – people who click on the “Google Search” button, people who search by hitting the enter key, people who search from browser toolbars, etc. While the overall clickthrough rate for the entire Google-searching sample was 0.95%, the people who searched by clicking on the search button at Google.com clicked ads at a 1.56% rate, over half again higher.
|All Google Searches||10,307,849||97,440||0.95%|
|Google Button Clicks||767,209||11,934||1.56%|
But the question becomes, why such a high disparity? Why are people who type in their query and hit enter so much less likely to click on an ad than someone who performs a search differently through the same website?
“Sophistication is my guess,” says Rand Fishkin, SEO guru and CEO of SEOMoz.org. ”Hitting enter means you’re not moving your hands away from the keyboard and likely indicates a more tech-savvy (and hence, click-sensitive) individual.”
So it appears that advertising click rates are inversely proportional to the “tech-savviness” of the people receiving the ads. By defining a user’s tech-savviness, it’s possible that ad networks going forward will be able to target better and better, driving revenue for websites while showing less ads.