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 New cruise ship “Mein Schiff 1” features Fraunhofer 3D sound on board
05.09.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Digitale Medientechnologie IDMT

nachricht Small enclosure, big sound, clear speech
31.08.2018 | 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: Energy-saving new LED phosphor

The human eye is particularly sensitive to green, but less sensitive to blue and red. Chemists led by Hubert Huppertz at the University of Innsbruck have now developed a new red phosphor whose light is well perceived by the eye. This increases the light yield of white LEDs by around one sixth, which can significantly improve the energy efficiency of lighting systems.

Light emitting diodes or LEDs are only able to produce light of a certain colour. However, white light can be created using different colour mixing processes.

Im Focus: Quantum gas turns supersolid

Researchers led by Francesca Ferlaino from the University of Innsbruck and the Austrian Academy of Sciences report in Physical Review X on the observation of supersolid behavior in dipolar quantum gases of erbium and dysprosium. In the dysprosium gas these properties are unprecedentedly long-lived. This sets the stage for future investigations into the nature of this exotic phase of matter.

Supersolidity is a paradoxical state where the matter is both crystallized and superfluid. Predicted 50 years ago, such a counter-intuitive phase, featuring...

Im Focus: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

  • Coolest and smallest star to produce a superflare found
  • Star is a tenth of the radius of our Sun
  • Researchers led by University of Warwick could only see...

Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

Im Focus: Largest, fastest array of microscopic 'traffic cops' for optical communications

The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

Fraunhofer FHR at the IEEE Radar Conference 2019 in Boston, USA

09.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Proteins stand up to nerve cell regression

24.04.2019 | Life Sciences

New sensor detects rare metals used in smartphones

24.04.2019 | Life Sciences

Controlling instabilities gives closer look at chemistry from hypersonic vehicles

24.04.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>