Two new studies examining how people search show that internet users are becoming more discriminating, with important implications for search marketers.

As part of ongoing work conducted by Jupiter Research and sponsored by iProspect, "The iProspect Search Engine User Behavior Study" found that 62% of search engine users click on a search result within the first page of results, and a full 90% of users click on a result within the first three pages of search results.

These figures were just 48% and 81% in 2002, based on similar research iProspect did at the time.

Search marketers should take note of these findings, as they emphasize the importance of appearing on the first few pages of search results, whether in natural or sponsored listings. The message is clear: You can't simply rely on search engine optimization or search advertising if you want qualified prospects to find you. You must invest the time and resources in both types of search marketing, or risk being overlooked.

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