Electronic Markets

, Volume 19, Issue 2–3, pp 163–177 | Cite as

Information search and paid results — proposition and test of a hierarchy-of-effect model

  • Claire GauzenteEmail author
General Research


Search engines stand as the first entry point to internet resources for 70% of users. The results page is therefore an appealing place for advertising in the form of sponsored links also called paid results. Yet little academic knowledge has been developed to understand users’ perceptions and behaviors toward sponsored links. In particular it is of foremost importance to delineate factors that influence click intention and behavior. This paper proposes a hierarchy-of-effects model in order to understand surfers’ click on sponsored links. An empirical study is conducted over 349 participants confronted to three different Search Engine Result Pages (SERP) representing three search situations. Results indicate a significant relationship between attitude toward sponsored links and behavioral intention. In addition, past satisfaction is found to significantly predict click behavior. The contribution of this study for both researchers and practitioners is discussed.


Paid results Attitude Sponsored links Click behavior Web searching Web search engines 


M30 (see 


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Copyright information

© Institute of Information Management, University of St. Gallen 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of AngersAngersFrance
  2. 2.Rennes School of BusinessRennesFrance

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