Web 2.0 Summit Takeaway – Google Insight

I am due to write up my adventures at the Web 2.0 Summit. That is on the way very soon, as well as a post about StartUp Camp. In the meantime, I wanted to share something you may have seen on the FreshBooks blog:

“One of my favourite takeaways from the Web 2.0 Summit was Marissa’s presentation about something she learned working at Google. She ran a survey and Google users told her they wanted 30 results in the Google search results page. She delivered thirty results in the results pages and then watched as users ran from Google faster than she could say, “What happened?”

At first she did not know why they left. In time she came to realize page load times – an extra half second to download the extra HTML required to display 30 results – was what drove people away. So, in a word, slowness drove them away. Looking at things from the other direction, the results indicated that speed keeps users coming back to Google.

To explain the significance of this, I created some graphics (which are NOT based on data):

How goolge does it

See the difference in approach? Yahoo! tries to get you to stay as long as they can get you to stay on Yahoo! properties. Google wants you to visit and leave their site as quickly as possible, the idea being that the positive experience you have with Google will keep you coming back more frequently (i.e. you do more searches). And guess what? Every time you return Google gets another chance to monetize you…and Google monetizes about 30% of the searches people make. Impressed? I was. Thanks for sharing Marissa.”

3 thoughts on “Web 2.0 Summit Takeaway – Google Insight

  1. Even though its hard to do, I try to avoid comparing Yahoo and Google. It’s been at least 10 years that Yahoo has been shifting its main business from search to content provider.

    Truthfully I’ve been a huge fan of Yahoo since they added their mini-sites such as:
    I see it as that they are taking the personal story/connection aspect of what makes blogging so great, and applying it to telling the news, or talking about travel etc.

    But back to my point, Yahoo and Google are misleading to compare, Yahoo makes alot of content, Google makes none.

  2. On the otherhand you point is valid. Google draws on more users for shorter visits, while Yahoo draws less users, but for longer. And obviously Google makes more money.

  3. Thanks Kris…on all fronts…Google and Yahoo! are defintely different businesses, but as you acknowledge, the main point was around fast experiences and quick page loading times…not much new, but fascinating (at least to me) when you consider the impact on a business like google’s.


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