The Google way is to give highly relevant results at the top of the page. Eye scanning on Baidu shows that this strategy isn’t successful in China.
In a test conducted with Chinese subjects, eye scanning on Google.cn was more focused in the upper left hand corner compared to Baidu despite the fact that both search engines have nearly identical page layouts. Baidu users also scrolled down the page more than the Google users, but clicked on less sponsored listings – less than 1% compared to 3% for Google.
In a Google-dominated world, search engine Baidu has turned the tables in China where it commands three times the market share than its rival Google.cn. Baidu’s immense success in the world’s most populous country has several contributing factors, and Enquiro’s recent study takes a look at the differences in user interaction.
On Baidu, less than 45% of all clicks took place in the first 3 organic listings. This was much less focused than Google.cn where over 70% of all clicks took place on the top 2 organic results alone. Baidu pages also had significantly longer reading times – an average of 55 seconds – compared to 30 seconds on Google.cn.
The new research was conducted by Enquiro, a research company which specializes in eye tracking usability testing and measures search experiences.