Search success rate is a funny old metric. At Experian Hitwise we define a “successful search” as a search which resulted in a click through to a website. This used to be a good measure of how competent search engines were at delivering relevant results to users – the theory being that if a consumer couldn’t find what they were looking for on the SERP they would have to make a further search to access the information they were after.
This was all well and good until search engines started getting smarter and realising that they could start offering information to us first hand. Let’s take a simple example of exchange rates. If I want to find out what the current exchange rate is between the pound and the euro and type “pound euro exchange rate” into Bing I don’t need to click through to a currency conversion website anymore, the search engine gives me the information I need directly. (more…)