Google: Oh won’t you stay just a little bit loooonger


Web strategists are scratching their heads over why Google would risk redesigning its $23 billion search results baby, adding complex features such as subcategories and real time results.

We say it’s simple: The more complexity, the more likely consumers are to linger, the more likely they are to click on a “sponsored link” ad, the more likely Google is to make more revenue. It’s an inventory play, giving Google more shots at you as you rush through its doors looking for vacation deals, similar to weather web sites that force you to click through four pages to find a local forecast. More page options equal more ad potential.

Let’s do the math:

> Assume 10% of Google’s 268 million daily users decide to click on one more search results page before rushing off
> Assume also the odds remain the same on a second page that users click on a search ad
> Google gets a 10% lift in ad clicks.

Hmm. What’s 10% on $23 billion?

The risk, of course, is by adding complexity Google diminishes its utility which pushes consumers away. But similar redesigns, such as Microsoft’s Bing, have gained traction by making the act of finding stuff nuanced. And we bet Google has a fancy math formula somewhere predicting risk vs. reward.

Uberdesigner Jakob Nielsen told BusinessWeek, “People don’t want to use a search engine. They want to get away from a search engine.” Exactly, Jakob: Now it’s harder to run away.

3 thoughts on “Google: Oh won’t you stay just a little bit loooonger

  1. Great insight. Designing experiences and using them to effect human behavior is the future of all things digital. Just ask Tim Brown.

  2. Great insight. Designing experiences and using them to effect human behavior is the future of all things digital. Just ask Tim Brown.

  3. Did they design a way to prevent Ad Blocker from Fire Fox from blocking all their paid results as it does currently? They created Chrome specifically to ensure users can’t block ads which is their source of income. Very smart move people couldn’t understand.

    BTW thank you for doing the math Wise Sensei. I have a Finance/Sales background, too often the folks in Adland don’t connect the final dot.

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