Eye-tracking research is beneficial for better understanding user behaviour in search engines. The present paper presents a comprehensive narrative literature review of eye-tracking studies examining factors influencing users’ viewing behaviour on results pages of search engines. Discipline-specific databases from Psychology, Computer Science, and Library and Information Science, as well as one multidisciplinary database have been searched for relevant articles. Criteria for inclusion were that a paper reported empirical results from an eye-tracking study in which effects of a specific factor on users’ viewing behaviour on search engine results pages (SERPs) were examined, with inferential statistical results being reported. This led to a set of 41 papers that were further examined. The papers were grouped into three categories according to three types of factors that may affect individuals’ web search activities: contextual factors, resource factors, and individual factors. Papers were assigned to these categories and subsequently to sub-categories. Overall, while for some sub-categories robust findings can be reported, we found results in many sub-categories to be inconclusive. For future research, we recommend a shift from small-scale studies examining single factors to more comprehensive and theory-driven research using larger sample sizes.
- Human-Computer Interaction
- Search engines
- eye-tracking research
- literature review
- search engine results pages (SERPs)