this article I summarize the findings of
two Penn State University researchers, who
analyzed more than 450,000 Web queries submitted
to the AllTheWeb search engine in a 24-hour
period, reviewing users' actions in chronological
Jim Jansen and Amanda Spink, both assistant
professors in Penn State's information
sciences and technology (IST), analyzed
more than 450,000 web queries submitted
to the AlltheWeb.com search engine in
a 24-hour period, and made some very interesting
studied the length of sessions, number
of pages visited, and relevance of search
results. Their findings were presented
in a paper titled "An Analysis of
Web Documents Retrieved and Viewed"
at the 2003 International Conference on
Internet Computing in Las Vegas, Nevada.
is a summary of their findings:
of all users entered only one search query.
54 percent viewed just one page of search
results per visit to the search engine.
Searchers typically visit only the top
three search results.
About 55 percent of users checked out
one result only.
Only 19 percent went on to the second
Fewer than 10 percent bothered with the
third page of results.
More than 80 percent stopped after looking
at three results.
Eight out of 10 times, the abstract dissuades
searchers from going to a site.
Upon clicking through to a site, one in
five searchers stay 60 seconds or less.
One out of every two search results isn't
relevant to what the searcher was looking
your web pages indexed by the search engines
is clearly not enough. They must be listed
within the first 3 pages of search results,
otherwise eight out of ten searchers will
never find it. Ideally, you should strive
for a first page listing. For best results,
a top 3 ranking is needed.
enhance your chances of getting your listing
clicked, improve your site's search result
abstract by making it more enticing and
relevant to the searcher. Many search
engines, such as Google, use the contents
of the META description tag as the search
results abstract, if the contents of the
tag includes the search query. So take
another look at your web page META description
findings of this study reiterate the importance
of optimizing your web pages for top search
engine rankings. Ignore it at your peril.
more articles by Michael Wong
SEO Monk Home>
Engine Study Article