Comments

  1. Stewart Walker

    Hi James.

    Definitely agree on the value of best bets.

    What are your thoughts on whether they should be integrated as the first X ‘organic’ search results or shown separately as in your CSIRO example?

    In another article I just read (http://www.iaplay.com/2009/07/27/best-bets-functionality-for-search-systems/), it’s mentioned that in usability testing sometimes users have ignored best bets presented separately as they looked too much like ads.

    The other issue is that I wonder is separating the best bets adds cognitive load? When they’re separate, the user has to decide between area A and area B of the page, rather than just starting at the top of the single list of results and working down.

    Cheers

    Stewart

    • James Robertson

      @Stewart, while there seems to be little concrete usability testing on this, the growing consensus seems to be to display the best bets as the first few “organic” results. As you’ve pointed out, displaying the best bets separately can make users think they’re ads. So go with your plan :-)

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Published November 1, 2005

James Robertson
James Robertson is the Managing Director of Step Two, the global thought leaders on intranets, headquartered in Sydney, Australia. James is the author of the best-selling books Essential intranets, Designing intranets and What every intranet team should know. He has keynoted conferences around the globe. (Follow him on Twitter)

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