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What's in a Name? Measuring Prominence, and its Impact on Organic Traffic from Search Engines

Michael Baye, Babur De los Santos () and Matthijs Wildenbeest

No 2012-09, Working Papers from Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy

Abstract: Organic product search results on Google and Bing do not systematically include information about seller characteristics (e.g., feedback ratings and prices). Consequently, it is often assumed that a retailer’s organic traffic is driven by the prominence of its position in the list of search results. We propose a novel measure of the prominence of a retailer’s name, and show that it is also an important predictor of the organic traffic retailers enjoy from product searches through Google and Bing. We also show that failure to account for the prominence of retailers’ names–as well as the endogeneity of retailers’ positions in the list of search results–significantly inflates the estimated impact of screen position on organic clicks.

Keywords: product search; position; internet; search engines; prominence (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D43 D83 L13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-com, nep-ict and nep-mkt
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (8)

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Journal Article: What’s in a name? Measuring prominence and its impact on organic traffic from search engines (2016) Downloads
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