Study: Topmost search positions may not be so valuable

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New York—A new research paper disputes the prevailing view that the top positions in search query results are always the most profitable ones for advertisers.

The study—“An Empirical Analysis of Search Engine Advertising: Sponsored Search in Electronic Markets” by New York University professors Anindya Ghose and Sha Yang—found that the most prominent positions on the search engine results page are not always the most profitable ones, despite having higher click-through rates, due to aggressive bidding that increases the cost of advertising.

Also, the study found that retailer-specific keywords are associated with an increase in click-through and conversion rates, while brand-specific keywords are associated with a decrease.

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