Here’s all you need to know about pre-mapping, from Gord’s article…
Pre-Mapping supposes that we’ve interacted with search results pages enough to know the sections of real estate we typically deal with. We know where the top sponsored ads are and what they are. We know about where the top organic listings start. And in our minds, we already have a good idea of the type of site we’re looking for and approximately where we expect it to appear. Before the page ever loads, we’ve already mapped out the sections that would appear to hold the greatest promise to deliver on our intent. As the page loads, we do a split-second scan to get our bearings (orient in the top left corner, see how many top ads there are, see where organic starts) and then we go to the part of the map we’ve predetermined to be our best starting point.
It doesn’t directly impact a search marketing campaign, but it certainly makes you think about whether you need to be top of the organic results, paid results or both (depending on the search term).
I can certainly attest that pre-mapping is how I search. If I’m looking for the web site for a major brand, my eyes are already focused on where the #1 organic listing is – expecting that to be the location of the site I am looking for. Conversely, if I am looking for a company selling the latest gadget reviewed on a blog, I’ll expect few sites to be listed organically, so tune my eyes to the paid results first.
Makes sense, but Gord’s article definitely gets you thinking about how people interact with Google et al.