Consumer Click Behavior at a Search Engine: The Role of Keyword Popularity
Columbia University - Columbia Business School
Carnegie Mellon University - David A. Tepper School of Business
Cornell University - Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management
March 11, 2013
Johnson School Research Paper Series No. 24-2012
The authors study users’ click behavior on organic and sponsored links after a keyword search at a search engine. Using a dataset obtained from a search engine, they analyze over 1.5 million user searches for multiple keywords over the span of one month. They find that consumers’ click activity after a keyword search is quite low and is heavily concentrated on the organic list. Interestingly, however, there is significant variation in click behavior across keywords, driven by the fact that the composition of consumers searching different keywords is different. Specifically, keyword popularity, as determined by search volumes for the keywords, is an important indicator of searchers’ click tendencies — as keyword popularity decreases, keywords are searched by consumers who generate more clicks per search and click more sponsored links. This indicates that, as compared to more popular keywords, less popular keywords are searched by consumers who expend more effort in their search for information and are closer to a purchase, which makes them more targetable for sponsored search advertising.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 34
Keywords: Sponsored search advertising, organic search listings, consumer click behavior, keyword popularity
Date posted: October 10, 2012 ; Last revised: March 12, 2013
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