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I have a theory that social demographics have an impact on search behaviour. I've looked all over for quantifiable evidence to support my theory but been unable to find any.
It's my theory that products and services aimed at the more professional social demographic groups have better click through rates in the natural search listings than paid search listings. Whereas, products and services aimed at other social groups can be comparatively more successful in paid listings.
This theory is supported by some dodgy qualitative research (asking people I know from outside the industry) about their propensity to use different parts of the search engine page.
This research suggests that whilst blue collar browsers seem happy to scan the whole page and select whatever returned entry seems most interesting, browsers from professional and managerial backgrounds seem to have an aversion to paid results.
I'd hate to pin my reputation on this theory but in my gut it does seem to hold fairly true.
I'm sure our friends at Google would be able to confirm or deny this theory, but it might not be in their interest to reveal it if I'm correct. Could you imagine the impact it might have on paid search revenues?