Do People Always Search To Be Sent To Another Site?

from the questions,-questions dept

Mashable points us to a study done by online research firm Compete about which search engines do better in "search fulfillment." That is, what percentage of search queries on a particular search engine lead to someone clicking through to a search result. Yahoo clearly beats out Google (who then beats Microsoft). The theory, then, is that Yahoo does a better job pointing people to what they want to know about, since more of the queries end up in clickthroughs -- and that may certainly be true. However, it's not the only explanation. John Battelle weighs in to suggest that Google users may simply refine their queries a few times before clicking through to the desired results. Another possibility is one that happens to me all the time: if I'm searching for information and not a website, I may not need to clickthrough at all. I can just see the information needed in the snipped found in the search. So you could read the study as saying that Microsoft and Google provide more relevant snippets than Yahoo. The truth is probably somewhere in between, so while this data is interesting, as an aggregate number, it probably doesn't tell us very much.
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Filed Under: search, search engines, search fulfillment, search quality
Companies: google, yahoo


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  1. identicon
    Tarky7, 2 Oct 2007 @ 6:42am

    Spell Check , Search and General Web Idiocy

    I use Google to spellcheck all the time.

    I too am looking at the Google's cache, Page Rank and Backward Links.

    The Stupid vs. not Stupid is a very interesting take. I am astounded how many of my clients or people I am doing consulting with use Yahoo. I have several friends who are in the SEM world that only use Yahoo search, because they prefer yahoo mail. I usually associate people who mostly search with Yahoo to be 'less than' in my mind, but I think that is my own prejudice.

    Then, there are a bunch on people I know who only view the web through the AOL browser...

    *throws up hands in frustration*

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