Perception and Selection of Sponsored Links

The objective of the proposed project is to examine how users respond to the web links of familiar and unfamiliar brands when they are displayed at different locations in the search result pages in partnership with Enquiro Search Solutions, Inc, a privately held search engine marketing firm headquartered in Kelowna, BC. Participants will be asked to conduct a number of guided internet searches, searches for which they are provided the search terms. The result produced by each search will include the usual sponsored links as well as one target link (or the one of primary interest to the researchers) corresponding to either a familiar or unfamiliar brand. The location/placement of the targeted link will be systematically manipulated across searches. The intern will record participants’ eye fixations as well as the links selected in the results produced by each search. This work is guided by the hypothesis that participants tend to scan the search results very quickly for links to familiar brands which causes them to click on those links.

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Peter Graf


Jie Gao


Enquiro Search Solutions Inc.




Digital media


University of British Columbia



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