In addition to the Local heat maps & CTR studies that I shared yesterday , Mediative also looked at the behaviors around the Carousel in their study: The Evolution of Google Search Results Pages and Their Effects on User Behaviour”.
As with the 7-pack information yesterday, there are limits to this study. The CTR are particularly suspect given the lack of a representative audience and the very small sample size. And the study doesn’t explore post Carousel click behaviors like calling.
There are some interesting take aways in these results:
- The highest performing Carousel Placements are those to the far right; not positions 1,2 or3
- 11.1% of the clicks went to postions 4-7 on the Carousel while only 1.4% went to positions 1-3
- 89% (ie almost all) participants fixated on the Carousel
- Ads did particularly well a 136% increase in time spent looking at them and a 60% increase in clicks compared to other SERP results
- Ads captured 21% of the clicks on the page
- The top four organic results, all strong brands, did very well capturing 52% of the clicks
Obviously, if these results bear out, then Adwords is the big winner with the Carousel. Its bold presentation attracts eyeballs to the upper left but not the clicks which accrue to the ads. I think the likes of Yelp & TripAdvisor might need to be careful what they wish for in their European anti-trust crusade.
But all is not lost with the Carousel. Their ability to capture eyeballs (if not clicks) has significant branding implications. From their report:
Impressions vs. clicks
3 out of the 5 new elements covered in this study—Carousel, Knowledge Graph and Local Listings—don’t necessarily require the user to click on the listing/ placement to get the information they are looking for. Impression data should therefore be measured as a success metric. Given how much information can potentially be garnered about your business without a user having to leave the SERP, the listings have a similar effect in terms of brand awareness.Google Carousel Eye-Tracking Study: The Big Winner is AdWords by Mike Blumenthal