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Google to use Mouse MovementA Google patent was just approved for a system to keep track of a user’s mouse pointer while searching. Studies have been done on mouse movement, and apparently Google plans to use this research to make its search engine rankings more efficient. The idea is that people often subconsciously move their mouse to what they are looking at on the screen. The longer they keep the mouse over a certain search result, the more relevant that result was to the search phrase. So even if someone does not click on your site, your could still receive a tiny bit of authority if your site description is interesting enough (or lose authority of it doesn’t catch people’s attention).

Google has now included pretty much everything possible in its search engine formula short of reading its users’ minds. This will simply be another factor that will make a slight difference in how things turn out. It is doubtful that mouse movement could make too much of a difference, since if the person only looked at the description but didn’t click on it then it must not be what they were looking for. More than likely it will only affect sites that are low on the first page or on the second or third page. Once a site gets in the top few spots, the mouse movements won’t be significant enough.

But this could have some effect on search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising management. Site developers will pay more attention to meta descriptions, making them longer and more intriguing. Google’s new factor may help fight spam sites, because searchers will not take the time to read a spammy-looking description or something written in another language, and the mouse movements will reflect this. In PPC, this mouse pointer tracking may help or hurt your quality scores, encouraging advertisers to make more effective ad copy.

Overall, this factor is just another one of many. But because of the public nature of patents, we now know about Google’s new interest in mouse movement, and we can take that into account when doing SEO

Jamie Bates
Online Marketing Director