A study of first click behaviour and user interaction on the Google SERP

Barry, Chris
Lardner, Mark
Barry, C., Lardner, M. (2010). A study of first click behaviour and user interaction on the Google SERP. In 19th International Conference on Information Systems Development (ISD 2010). Prague, Czech Republic, August 25 - 27, 2010.
Firms use Search Engine Marketing (SEM) to drive users to their Website. Some are prepared to pay for placement; others use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) hoping their result percolates up the organic SERP. Despite extensive SEM efforts, firms can only speculate over the first critical interaction between the first SERP and a user¿s first click. This study sheds some light on users¿ first click behaviour on Google and the early interaction thereafter. The research reveals that users evaluate the SERP from the top downwards, deciding instantly whether to click into each link, while first clicks are predominantly at the top of the SERP, especially towards organic links. For certain queries top sponsored links received almost as many clicks as organic links despite what users profess. Recommendations to firms include advice that strategies should be primarily SEO focused and that paid search campaigns should maintain a position in the top sponsored links section of the Google SERP.
Publisher DOI
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Ireland