What is the golden triangle?
Eye tracking firm Eyetools, with help from search engine marketing firms Enquiro and Did-it, have done a Google study showing a "golden triangle". This is created by the areas of maximum interest among searchers. During a search, eye tracking activity happens in a triangle at the top of the search results page. This triangular viewing pattern reaches out from the top left of the search results. Searchers normally scan the rest of the listings in "F pattern", looking laterally at the top results, then vertically, with less lateral scanning the further down the list.
What are the main numbers?
According to the study, the top three results had 100 percent visibility, the fourth had 85 percent, the fifth had 60 percent and sixth dropped down to 50 percent. Overall, 72 percent of users clicked on the first link of interest, only 50 percent of searchers move to the second page of results after making the initial query.
What do the numbers mean?
Once again, they show that Natural Search Optimization rules, as 75 percent of all clicks are made on organic listings. Because only the top three results get 100 percent visibility, that is where you want to be. The top listings are trusted or deemed most relevant, most often. Searchers have a collection of words in their heads that they subconsciously look for in search results. Therefore, understanding the semantic map in your searchers minds as they search for your site is key. The study found searchers tend to respond to search results that do the best job of matching the concept in their minds, regardless of the position of the search result on the page. There are two important behavioral events: Searchers eyes are jumping around on the results looking for direct matches, but they are also using peripheral vision which can indirectly help them find information on the page. Clear branding and visibility advantage is offered by gaining top positions, especially on Googles top sponsored links above natural results. It is very clear, according to this and other studies, that it is a mistake to rely solely on paid listings for traffic. Both, properly done SEO and paid listings should be used to capture the full range of searchers behavior in a well balanced search marketing campaign.