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Facebook's Graph Search Results Page: An Eye-Tracking Study

by Lenna Garibian  |  
March 22, 2013

Similar to search engine results pages, being in the top two or three listings of a Facebook Graph Search results page is key to ensuring a listing is seen quickly and for a relatively long duration, according to research by Mediative, which used eye-tracking technology to explore which elements of the Facebook Graph search results page hold the most interest.

For the study, 21 people were asked to view the results of the query "restaurants nearby" on a given Facebook page. Among the participants, 95% focused on the top two results of a Facebook search results page—and the proportion of viewers who viewed a given result decreased fairly uniformly as viewers scanned down the page.

Graph Search was introduced in January 2013. It is a semantic search feature that allows users to execute a search queries directly in Facebook. Still in beta, the feature generates search results that incorporate the recommendations and likes of people in a given network.

Along with News Feed and Timeline, Facebook views Graph Search as the third pillar of the social networking site.

Below, additional findings from Mediative.

The study focused on key "areas of interest," consisting of the 12 results visible on the Facebook Graph results page, split into three sub-areas: Image, listing, and right rail:

Based on the results of eye-tracking technology, the count heat map (below) shows the amount of views that the three areas of interest garnered. The red areas are those that had the most views, followed by yellow and green.

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Lenna Garibian is a MarketingProfs research writer and a marketing consultant in the tech industry, where she develops engaging content that builds thought leadership and revenue opportunities for clients. She's held marketing and research positions at eRPortal Software, GAP Inc., Stanford University, and the IMF. Reach Lenna via Twitter @LennaAnahid and LinkedIn.

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