Google's Top Sponsored Results Get More Attention than Bing's, Study

In this eye-tracking research, User Centric revisited the questions posed in the first examination about the amount and distribution of attention on search results pages. Participants' eye movements were recorded with the Tobii T60 eye tracker integrated in a 17-inch monitor. "People who use Google spend more time looking at the top three paid ads […]

In this eye-tracking research, User Centric revisited the questions posed in the first examination about the amount and distribution of attention on search results pages. Participants' eye movements were recorded with the Tobii T60 eye tracker integrated in a 17-inch monitor. "People who use Google spend more time looking at the top three paid ads above the organic results than Bing users," according to the study.

  • Approximately 90% of participants looked at the sponsored results above the organic results in each search task. However, participants spent more time looking at the top sponsored results area on Google (2.8 seconds per search task, on average) than on Bing (1.9 seconds). Google's top sponsored results also received more gaze time per result -- 0.9 seconds compared to 0.7 seconds that Bing's sponsored results received.

    Google’s Top Sponsored Results Get More Attention than Bing’s

  • The top sponsored results on Google tended to have two lines of descriptive text as compared to one on Bing, as well as the Google Checkout button next to some of the links. The additional information may be the reason participants spent more time in the top sponsored results.
  • Users Spend More Time Viewing Google's Organic Search Results. In this study, the average time spent on organic results was much longer on Google (14.7 seconds) than it was on Bing (10.7 seconds).
  • Bing's Left Pane Looked at Longer than Google's. According to the findings Bing's left pane was viewed longer than Google's (2.9 versus 1.2 seconds).
  • The study also found that only 25% of participants used Bing's Quick Previews (called "flyouts" in their study) and that 67% had never seen one prior to the study.

[tags]search results,sponsored results,organic search[/tags]

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