Internet users changing search habits

One in five consumers typically carry out ten or more queries to find the travel product they are looking for on search engines, a new survey has found.


The results of a study carried out by Darlington-based Geo-Net Solutions – a division of web company Intermedia – found that the number has more than doubled in less than a year, up from 8% in July 2005 to 20% in March 2006.


Geo-Net also found that half of consumers generally use three keywords during a travel search, down 4% between the two surveys to 50%, with a four-fold increase (to 16%) in the number using four words.


The company also found that a third of users often clicked on five or more links to find the right website for a travel-related product.


Managing director Peter Bulloch said: “The time and effort a consumer has to spend on finding exactly what they want has become know as the ‘cost of search’.


“The goal of search engines – and online marketers alike – should be to reduce this ‘cost’ and make it easer and quicker for consumers to find what they’re looking for.”


Elsewhere in the study, 40% and 45% of consumers said they were “less likely” or ”not sure” to find reliable information in paid-for listings for travel products.


Around half of consumers said they would not click on paid-for links or advertising banners, the survey revealed.


One in four of those questioned in the survey indicated that they were dissatisfied with the web pages they arrived at then they clicked on a search result.

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