New Eye-Tracking Software Ups Google's Stalk Factor

Google uses heat-sensitive software to study how visitors read their site

Thanks to its new eye-tracking software, Google can now keep tabs on even more of your life.

The Internet juggernaut uses special heat-tracking equipment in its testing labs to determine where your eyes first dart to on a page of search results, Google reps said this week on their official blog.

The longer a user looks at a particular part of a page, the darker that section shows up on the corresponding heat map attached to testing computers.

"This lets us see how our study participants scan the search results page, and is the next best thing to actually being able to read their minds," blog authors and researchers Anna Aula and Kerry Rodden wrote.

Using the software, Google researchers found that site visitors scan down a list of search results in order and generally find what they're looking for from the first or second source. Site searchers also make their decisions in a matter of seconds, the eye-tracking software found.

A video on Google's blog illustrates how the software works and how quickly our eyes move from one point on a page to another.

Google last week unveiled 'Latitude,' a new cell-phone tracking device that can find any user's geographic location.

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