24 Nov Hey Google, let’s say goodbye to millions of search results
With Google, it’s not uncommon to find millions of results for your search query. The uncommon thing is caring about ANYTHING after the first page. Why? Millions don’t matter.
Google users want instant gratification when they’re searching. Consider these facts: According to Google, 75 percent of Google users NEVER click past the first page. The top three Google results get 79 percent of all clicks. The remaining 7 results share just 21 percent of the clicks. This can be show using heat maps (this one is courtesy of EyeTools) where hotter colors represent areas where people spent more time looking and X’s represent areas where people click.
Millions is a Myth. Google’s calculation of the total number of search results is an estimate. That is why when you click on the next page of search results, the total number of search results can change. The estimated number of results is a useful ballpark figure — but it can also be misleading for users since some of the query results are duplicates. Collapsing the duplicates decreases the estimated number of results, but improves the quality and relevance of results on the overall page – which is why Google collapses duplicate results by default.
Better queries are the best mean to ensure better, more relevant results. Google’s ‘Did you mean” algorithm improves results by helping users identify potential misspellings. Basically, Google uses spell checking software to check queries against the most common spelling of each word. When they calculate a greater number of relevant search results with an alternative spelling, the engine displays ” Did you mean (more common spelling)?” at the top of search results.
For example, a search for ‘facbook’ returns approximately 598,000 search results. At the top of the search results page, the “did you mean: facebook” offers 265 million results.
The lesson? Helping people refine their search query achieves better results than additional pages.
This is why I think its time for Google to eliminate paged results altogether. I’d like to see a single page (with the top 25 to 50 results) and some suggestions to refinining my query.
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