How Google Tests & Tests Search Interfaces

We’re all guinea pigs in Google’s search experiment from News.com covers Google’s Marissa Mayer presentation at the Google I/O conference. In her speech, she discusses the various tests they perform to increase searcher activity and responsiveness.

Here is a bullet list of what I found to be the most interesting insights from that presentation:

  • The more search results per page, the less people search
  • The reason? Less search results mean faster returned results
  • 30 results per page would result in 20% less searches when compared to 10 results per page
  • Google cut the bloat out of Google Maps and noticed a 30% increase in usage
  • Changing the ad background from blue to yellow increased clicks and shockingly, increased searches
  • Google put a copyright at the bottom of the home page to convey that the page has loaded (people sat and waited thinking more was coming)
  • One search query requires between 700 and 1,000 computers or machines

Personally, I would have thought that the reason behind there being less searches when there are more search results per page, would be because people would get the answer faster. I think a study shows (not sure if I am 100% right), that when a searcher doesn’t find what they are looking for on the first results page, they are likely to alter their search query, as opposed to going to page two. If that is the case, then if Google put search results from pages two and three on page one, then maybe that searcher found the answer and did not need to alter the search query – resulting in a new search. Maybe Google shows only ten results per page, because it increases search volume?

Other then that, the News.com report is chock full of nice Google tidbits.

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Google: User Interface

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About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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