Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Impatient web searchers measure web sites’ appeal in seconds

25.06.2003


Web users are picky and impatient, typically visiting only the first three results from a query, with one in five searchers spending 60 seconds or less on a linked Web document, according to Penn State researchers.



"People make instantaneous judgments about whether to stay on a site, and if a site doesn’t the give the right impression, users will bypass it," said Dr. Jim Jansen, assistant professor in Penn State’s information sciences and technology (IST). "A page has to be well-designed, easy to load and relevant to a searcher’s needs."

Otherwise, by the time three minutes have elapsed, 40 percent of searchers will have moved on. While some may have found what they wanted, others may simply have given up and moved to a different site, said the faculty member in Penn State’s School of Information Sciences and Technology (IST).


Jansen’s conclusions are based on research that he and co-author Amanda Spink, Penn State associate professor of IST, conducted in February 2001. The two researchers analyzed more than 450,000 Web queries submitted to AlltheWeb.com in a 24-hour period, reviewing users’ actions in chronological order. The length of sessions, number of pages visited and relevance of results were studied.

He presented the research today (June 25) in a paper titled "An Analysis of Web Documents Retrieved and Viewed" at the 2003 International Conference on Internet Computing in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Several patterns emerged. Half of all users entered only one query with 54 percent viewing just one page of results in each session (a session was a query or series of queries submitted by a user during one interaction with a Web search engine). Only an additional 19 percent went on to the second page in sessions, and fewer than 10 percent of users bothered with the third page of results.

A similar drop-off in numbers occurred when the researchers considered how many results searchers viewed per query. About 55 percent of users checked out one result only. More than 80 percent stopped after looking at three results. With more businesses opting to market through search engines rather than ads, those percentages illustrate why a good ranking on a major Web search engine can make the difference between commercial success and failure.

To improve the odds Web users will visit a site, Jansen said it is imperative to get indexed by all search engines. A site’s abstract that appears on the results page also can direct more users to a site -- provided the description is enticing and relevant specifics about the site are included.

"For site developers, if you want to be looked at, it is absolutely critical that the abstract be crystal clear about the purpose of your Web site," Jansen said. "Eight out of 10 times, the abstract dissuades people from going to the site."

The researchers had news for consumers, too: They have a valid reason to be frustrated sometimes with Web searches. One out of every two results isn’t relevant to what the searcher was looking for, Jansen said.

"As good as search engines are, there is room for improvement," Jansen said. "Niche search engines that focus on a narrow topic or search engines that cluster results by finding similarities and grouping them may be consumers’ best bet for improving relevancy."

Margaret Hopkins | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.psu.edu/

More articles from Communications Media:

nachricht Between filter bubbles, uneven visibility and transnationality
06.12.2017 | Schweizerischer Nationalfonds SNF

nachricht New Technologies for A/V Analysis and Search
13.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Digitale Medientechnologie IDMT

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests

14.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

New type of smart windows use liquid to switch from clear to reflective

14.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

BigH1 -- The key histone for male fertility

14.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>