Searching For Reviews Influences Buying Process

Searching and finding reviews can influence the buying process, even if those reviews occur deep in search queries or social media sites. A recent patent shows how Google brings those reviews to the surface; and a study reveals the importance of reviews.

Online reviews impact 67.7% of respondents' purchasing decisions. Some 57% of the respondents admit that online reviews are fairly, very, or absolutely an important part of their decision-making process, according to a study from Go Fish Digital.

The company enlisted a group of 1,000 consumers through Google Consumer Surveys to analyze how consumers interact with Google and other major sites during the buying process. The study aims to help marketers better understand how much of an impact reviews have on an individual's purchasing decisions.

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It turns out that reviews play a major role.

Let's face it. Google might emphasize reviews in search results, but it hasn't been that successful when it comes to social media. A recently granted patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office titled "On-line social search" might signal a shift.

Google patent abstract describes a method to perform searches to find social-related information by filtering social content in queries. The patent refers to the search as "social survey queries," and describes the ability to identify reviews or local deals that have been liked by friends in a city within a specific timeframe.

The Go Fish Digital study also sought to understand how deep people are willing to dig into search queries. Do they stop at page 1 or dig deeper into page 3? When asked, 36% of respondents claim to look through the first two pages or more of search results, but a closer look at the search data reveals individuals view less than 2% of searches below the top five results on the first page. 

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