Funny thing I read not too long ago (I think it was in a study by Enquiro) states that search engines users show different eye-movement behaviour based on the search engine they are using. It seems like users adjust themselves, based on their past experience with search engine results, to scan only specific areas of the SERP, the ones they perceive as the most accurate for their needs.
If you’re wandering what are the differences between “the big three“, you should know that Google-users scan mainly the top triangle on the left , Yahoo!-users scan a much bigger triangle plus some of the sponsored link ads on the top right while MSN-users act almost the same as Yahoo!-users, except the fact that they scan close to 90% of the page results.
From SEO perspective, I guess this doesn’t tell us anything new – optimizing your site for the “big three” should be focused first on getting to the top results at Google’s first page, while when it comes to Yahoo! and MSN, you can still benefits from your site being listed down on the first results page.
Something to think about:
What will happen once there is a search engine where the results are shown in spiral? Will the users adjust themselves to scan the results in circles? 🙂