Google searchers nonplussed by tweets

Google users have offered a collective shrug to the inclusion of Twitter feeds in search results, a new survey has revealed.

Almost 60 per cent of consumers said they were “indifferent” to tweets in their results, while 15 per cent said they didn't like it, according to a study by OneUpWeb.

Google started showing real-time results on trending topics late last year, after paying a hefty sum for an unexpurgated feed direct from Twitter. Only a quarter of survey participants said they liked the new feature.

On the basis that, “you don’t necessarily 'see' everything you look at”, the OneUpWeb study tracked the eye movements of 44 volunteers and later questioned them to see whether they were interested in the tweets newly cluttering up their web search results.

Their eye moments suggested an average of nine seconds before they first noticed the real-time results if they were searching for products, increasing to 14 seconds if they were searching for more general information.

Given the average of 10 seconds to first click, this showed that Twitter results were often overlooked. Questioned later, only 16 per cent of respondents said they clicked on a 'real-time result', while 21 per cent said they looked at the results but did not click on them.