A Look At Search Behavior At SMX West

What users want

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How people search and interact with search engines was the subject of the session "Just Behave, A look At Searcher Behavior."

(Coverage of SMX West continues at WebProNews Videos.  Keep an eye on WebProNews for more notes and videos from the event this week.)

Gordon Hotchkiss, President and CEO, Enquiro, said,"search helps identify who we are and what we’re interested in."

He presents a case study that looked at the Internet nave compared to the Internet savvy. The Internet naive had the same amount of brain activity while reading compared to searching. The Internet savvy had more brain activity while searching then they did reading text.

"Search has come to the point where we do a lot of it by habit," said Hotchkiss.

Larry Cornett, VP, Consumer Products, Yahoo!
Larry Cornett

Larry Cornett, VP, Consumer Products, Yahoo, said the best way to receive feedback is to talk to users and find out their search behavior. Find out about users search experiences and get feedback about product launches.

Yahoo visited six different cities in the U.S. and asked 150 consumers about the ideal search experience.

Key themes they heard were:
Information overload
Text overload
Impersonal experience

Cornett says the average user doesn’t respond well to hundreds and thousands of results. Text-heavy search results pages provide meager decision-making information. Users need to repeatedly reintroduce themselves to search engines.

Users want:
The Internet supports their life activity and search needs to keep up.
Understand true intent
Provide richer, more relevant experiences

Ramez Naam, Group Program Manager-Live Search, Microsoft, said understand your customers and it will help to improve your product.

Searchers behave in whole tasks:

Most customer time is not on single-queries. Most search sessions are less than 3 minutes, but most time is spent on difficult searches. Think long term relationship and brand.

WebProNews anchor Abby Johnson contributed to this report.

A Look At Search Behavior At SMX West
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