SEO

Business Users Prefer Organic Results to Search Engine Advertising

A recent survey of business users and their search behavior conducted by WebAdvantage.net, a search engine marketing and interactive agency, reveals that members of the business community rely more heavily on organic search results than paid search listings.

According to the survey, 85 percent of the respondents claim to click on sponsored links less than 40% of all searches, but nearly half of the audience (49 percent) does not seem to know the difference between paid and unpaid listings.

Business Users Dig Through Search Engine Results

Unlike the consumer audience which has been found to not drill down past the first page of search results, 92 percent of WebAdvantage.net survey respondents say they continue past the first pages of search results with 36 percent asserting they drill beyond the fourth page of search results.

Survey Results:

If you don’t find what you’re looking for on the first page of search results, do you typically quit at that point or continue on?

Quit after 1st Page: 37 (8%)
Continue on to 2nd Page: 125 (28%)
Continue on to 3rd Page: 125 (28%)
Continue on past the 4th page until I find what I’m looking for: 164 (36%)

A remarkable 92% of business community searchers continue on past the first pages of search results and search ads and even more drill down even beyond the fourth page of search results. This seems to show that many searchers believe the relevant results they’re looking for are listed but they just have to drill down further to get to it.

It also shows, however, that there is significant room for improvement in either how search engines deliver results to users or in how users go about the act of searching. It also may mean that companies can expand their interpretation of ideal search engine rankings to encompass more than just Page One listings, particularly if they cater to a business audience.

These results are entirely different from the Consumer Web Watch study of a consumer audience in which the majority of users would rely only on first page of search listings:

The majority of participants never clicked beyond the first page of search results as they had blind trust in search engines to present only the best or most accurate unbiased results on the first page. As a result, two-in-five links (or 41%) selected by our participants during the assigned search sessions were paid results.

Screen Shot 2014 04 15 at 7.21.12 AM Business Users Prefer Organic Results to Search Engine Advertising
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Screen Shot 2014 04 15 at 7.21.12 AM Business Users Prefer Organic Results to Search Engine Advertising

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