Microsoft's Study on Domain Bias In Search Results

Microsoft (see below for the link) conducted a study showing that when people evaluate listings from a search engine, they are more likely to click on websites with domain names that described their search. This phenomenon is not describing search engine algorithm bias. Instead, this discovery describes people's bias (or preference) when reviewing search results.

People perceive descriptive, premium domain names as having more authority than other domain names. According to Microsoft's study, they are 25% more likely to click on search results with these domains. For example when searching for "chew toys", people are more likely to click on rather than or some other URL that does not describe their search. Oddly, the users in Microsoft's study also reported higher satisfaction levels with descriptive domain names, even though the content was sourced from other websites. In other words, people believed the content on a website with a great domain was better just because of the domain name.

From this study, we can also deduce that people associate meaningful, descriptive domain names as authoritative and credible. Domains ending with .com have the most credibility because of advertising and marketplace dominance.

Click here to read the study: