Feeds

Bing 'better' than Google for advertisers

The eyes have it

The Power of One Infographic

We've had the $100m ad campaign, a porn scandal, denials, and an initial surge.

Increasingly, though, it's looking like a search engine really is just a search engine and that there's very little to differentiate Microsoft's Bing from Google - other than one's personal taste.

One user research specialist, though, reckons Bing will offer one important online constituent what they want - eyeballs. They are, of course, advertisers and businesses online.

User Centric claimed that sponsored links attracted a greater amount of users' attention in search results returned in Bing than in Google - 42 per cent versus 25 per cent per search.

Related searches in Bing also attracted more attention than in Google - 31 per cent compared to five per cent. Bing displays related searches on the left-hand side of the screen, while Google returns related searches beneath the search results towards the bottom of the page.

User Centric arrived at its findings by tracking search users' eyeballs around web pages in its labs. The eye-tracking generated color-coded heat maps on the screen, with the most intensely viewed areas shown as red - these areas held individual's attention for 4.5 seconds or longer User Centric said.

User Centric's heat maps for Bing and Google

Hot spots: User Centric followed eyeballs around Bing and Google

It sounds like there are two things at work here: Bing's vertical search and Bing-optimized categories, combined with the way Bing presents the search results on the screen.

In other areas there was little to differentiate Bing and Google. There was no difference in the amount of attention given to organic search results, with people spending an average of seven seconds in an area, while sponsored links at the top of the page - above search results - also attracted similarly high levels of attention. Ninety per cent looked in this area.

The news will likely please Microsoft, who's done what Microsoft does best: constructed a platform designed with business in mind. Traditionally, that platform has been Windows and the businesses in question were ISV and SI partners building applications on top of it. More recently that's been around Silverlight and Virtual Earth. Now, it's search, and the partners Microsoft hopes to attract are online advertisers and businesses.

It's one thing to construct something for advertisers, though, another to woo users.

For its part, User Centric said it's eye-tracking uses infrared to accurately and unobtrusively capture eye movements. The company said it has applied this technique to the design of other web sites, search engines and portals, and it's been used to test product packaging, medication labels, and email advertising. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.