Eyeing up real-time search
March 10, 2010 2 Comments
Real-time search has become an increasingly popular web trend over the past twelve months, one we’ve covered a number of times here on the blog, so it was of little surprise when the major search engines started integrating Twitter and the likes into their search results. What is a little surprising however though is the impact, or lack of, these real-time results are so far having on our searching habits.
Oneupweb have carried out an eye-opening eye-tracking study into the effectiveness of real-time web search results. The study split a group of users into “consumers” searching for products you would consider buying or “foragers” looking for current news and information on a topic. The results were mixed to say the least:
73% had never heard of real-time results before participating this study.
Only a quarter of the consumers cared for the real-time results compared to 47% of the information foragers.
The report also showed the users took more than ten seconds to to settle their gaze on the real-time results, but the foragers were more willing to spend time on the page which could be indicative of their willingness to consider more options before clicking and hence their increased likelihood to test the real-time results.
So the results perhaps don’t show real-time search to be quite as popular as the buzz may suggest – not yet anyway, but as users adapt the social aspect of search will become ever more relevant as real-time becomes a reality.