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Bing Touts Dynamic Page Sizing, Reveals Click-Thru Rates

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A post published yesterday on the Bing Search Quality Insights Blog explained the company's thoughts in relation to search engine results that display no more and no less than 10 blue links on a page.

In short, Bing believes that it has a more intuitive solution. In explaining the solution, Bing also revealed some interesting statistics about click-thru rates and how they depend on a link's position in the search engine results page (SERP). This being said, if you are competing for the the top search result spot for a specific keyword, or keyword phrase, just wait until you read this.

1st Result, 8th Result - As Long as It's on Page 1, Right?

Although you may be very happy to see your site ranking on the first page of Bing's search results for a targeted keyword phrase, you should be a lot happier if you actually land in the #1 position. According to Bing, over half of searchers go straight to the top result. By comparison, less than 1% of searchers click the link in the #8 position.

But is that really fair to the link sitting down in that 8th spot, which could very well be more relevant to the user's query than the result at the top of the page? Either way, Bing doesn't think it's the best way to get people the answers and information they're looking for.

The "Back" Button is the Key

In examining the click-thru rates, Bing noticed an odd phenomenon occurring right after searchers hit the "back" button in their browser. It goes like this: the user clicks one of the top links on the page, realizes the page doesn't have what they're seeking, goes back to the search results, and scans lower in the search results. At this point, the click-thru rate for these lower links is 5 to 8 times higher than it was before the user hit the "back" button.

As a result, Bing is showing eight results for an initial query, and 12 results after the user visits a web page and heads back to the SERP. This feature has actually been live since May 2012, though it was only officially explained yesterday.

On April 22nd of this year, Bing took another step along this same line. Now, when you search for something very specific - such as "ebay" - and Bing knows your intent, and if the top result has deep links (links to areas within the main search result), only four links will be displayed on the first SERP. However, if you use the "back" button to return to the search results, you'll then see a whopping 14 results.

What do you think of Bing's dynamic approach to sizing its SERPs? Let us know in the comments below.

Ryan Lundin

Posted on 25th April, 2013 by Ryan Lundin

About Ryan Lundin

Ryan Lundin is a content curator, manager, editor and writer from Marquette, MI.

View all posts by Ryan Lundin

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