The search and internet marketing industry was caught up in an interesting take on the percent of organic search results as shown by Google. The Jitbit blog came out with a dismal figure of 18.5% which made up for organic search results- the rest of the stuff on page was ads and non-search items. The writer of the blog said, “Only 18.5% of the screen is devoted to something that people are actually looking for,” in the above the fold area of Google search results page.
The writer arrived at this number by doing some math based on standard screen resolution. He said that on a 1280×960 resolution screen, the Google search results page contains organic search results which are contained in a 535×425 pixels box. This box was 18.5 percent of the entire window of the laptop/computer screen (square pixels are assumed to be the same as measuring in square inches). See the image below to understand how he arrives at a 535×425 pixels box of organic search results:
The writer also noted that of all the links (total 45 as counted by him), a mere 5 (or 11%) of them were organic actual "search" results. He then went on to say that, “The AD/Results ratio is 8 links to 7. Which is 47% of the links are the actual results.”
This math was met by some speculation (percentage sizes based on pixels should not be based on the full screen resolution rather on viewport size where HTML can be drawn). Its size takes the browser's tools and scrollbars out of the usable screen real-estate count.) and Google’s distinguished engineer Matt Cutts responded to it on Hacker News where the post has been posted. This is what Matt said,
- “the left-hand column is counted as non-search, when the left-hand column is entirely about search. The left-hand column gives you ways to refine your search: you can limit the types of search results like news/images, slice/dice search results by date, limit search results to verbatim matches or to change the geographic weighting of search results, etc.
- the actual search box is counted as non-search, as are the estimated results count and the time the search took.
- the article treated whitespace as non-search, when shorter columns can actually make it easier and faster for users to scan the results.”
The writer at Jitbit had suggested that Google just wants people to click on ads. And Cutts responded by saying that Google believes that sometimes ads can be quite helpful like search results.
There is a debate still on about the amount of space google dedicates to search results and ads. Some believe that Google does cuts back on search results with more space to ads, while some disagree with this. This issue has added to the discussion which began after it was observed that Google’s SERP has now only top 7 results and not top 10.
What do you think of this debate? Do share your views.Google Rubbishes Blogger's Claim that Google Search Has Only 18.5% Organic Results!,