Females More Likely to Fly Search Coop, Finds Part Two of iProspect Survey
While the search marketing company's study shows that nearly 99 percent of Internet users perform searches, many are unwilling to scroll through countless pages before modifying their search terms or switching to another search engine. According to the report, 22.6 percent of searchers bow out after viewing just the first few results, more than 18 percent do so after perusing the first page, over 25 percent leave after the first two pages, and 14.7 percent stick around through the first three pages before ducking out.
Study participants were asked: "If you do not find what you are looking for, at what point do you move on either to another search engine or to another search on the same engine?" The study measures search stick-to-itiveness based on user age, gender, profession, and employment status. "These demographics are where we saw the trends," says iProspect CEO Fredrick Marckini, who suggests that according to the study numbers, 80 percent of users won't see a listing if it does not fall within the top three pages.
Defying their reputation for nesting, 44 percent of women respondents were apt to fly the search coop after viewing the first page of results, as compared to 37 percent of male study participants. Women "tend to go directly to brands that they know and trust for advice to save time," asserts Lauren Wiener, managing director at Meredith Interactive, publisher of American Baby and Ladies' Home Journal's LHJ.com. Because they are extremely busy with demands at work and home, she continues: "They do use search engines to find specific information, but will quickly abandon them if the first page of results are too generic." Meredith buys targeted search engine keywords like "chicken recipes" to promote subscription sales.
The older search engine users become, the more they're prepared to pack it in after one results page. In fact, compared to 32.2 percent of 18- to-29- year-olds and 44.3 percent of 45- to-59-year-olds, nearly 50 percent of those ages 60 years and up said "goodbye" after viewing page one of results. "I suspect that this probably has to do with a feeling of compressed time, or could be evidence of searches being more relevant to them," Marckini conjectures.
What folks do for a living may also play a role in their willingness to ride out a search. More than any other occupation measured, over 52 percent of homemakers leave searches after viewing only the first page of results. Educators come in second at 40 percent, IT and MIS professionals come in third at 38.2 percent, and students come in at just over 27 percent.
"I would speculate that students are looking for more sources," says Marckini, adding: "It may evidence some of their research behavior where obvious results at the top of the list need to be compared to results deeper down."
The study concludes that when it comes to sites that are likely to target unemployed users such as Monster.com and Manpower, appearing within the top ten search results is critical. While 38.4 percent of full-time workers and 41.1 percent of part-time workers say they'll ditch a search after viewing the first results page, more than 44 percent of unemployed search engine users will quit after checking one listings page. "It demonstrates that being on the first page of search results is more important than ever," notes Marckini, who believes that many people searching on job-related keyword terms through search engines are unemployed. According to Overture's Web site, 500,418 Overture searches on keyword "job search" were performed in March.
"Search engines are really the gateway to the Internet; they're the front door," emphasizes Marckini. "Marketers have to recognize that this is the way the Internet works."