The value of SEO – why it pays to be number 1

Posted on by in ecommerce, SEO

 

Top 3 spots in Google make up 62% of all traffic

How much is the top spot on Google actually worth?  According to data from the Chitika network, it’s worth double the traffic of the #2 spot.

In order to find out exactly how much traffic number 1 spot was worth, Chikita looked at a sample of traffic coming into their advertising network. The top spot generated 34.35% of all traffic in the sample, almost as much as the numbers 2 through 5 slots combined.

Here are the positions and their total/relative values.

1 2,834,806 34.35%
2 1,399,502 16.96%
3 942,706 11.42%
4 638,106 7.73%
5 510,721 6.19%
6 416,887 5.05%
7 331,500 4.02%
8 286,118 3.47%
9 235,197 2.85%
10 223,320 2.71%

As you can see, the benefit of being in the top three is huge. This is backed up by an eye tracking study performed at Cornell University. They used a sample of undergraduate students instructed to perform search in Google for 397 queries of topics covering movies, travel, music, politics, local and trivia. Here were the results;

In 2006  AOL leaked millions of search records showing click rates by position.  Jim Boykin’s blog reveals the percent of clicks for each position for 9,038,794 searches and 4,926,623 clicks. Donna Fontenot shared the relative click volume of lower ranked results relative to the top ranked site.

  1. 42.13%, 2,075,765 clicks
  2. 11.90%, 586,100 clicks
  3. 8.50%, 418,643 clicks
  4. 6.06%, 298,532 clicks
  5. 4.92%, 242,169 clicks
  6. 4.05%, 199,541 clicks
  7. 3.41%, 168,080 clicks
  8. 3.01%, 148,489 clicks
  9. 2.85%, 140,356 clicks
  10. 2.99%, 147,551 clicks
  1. 3.5x less
  2. 4.9x less
  3. 6.9x less
  4. 8.5x less
  5. 10.4x less
  6. 12.3x less
  7. 14.0x less
  8. 14.8x less
  9. 14.1x less

UPDATE

Recent calculations revealed an 18.2% CTR for a No. 1 rank and 10.05% for No. 2. CTR for each position below the fold (Positions 5 and beyond) is below 4%. The implication is that 52.32% of all clicks go on the front page.

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