My name is John Siebert, the premier Tampa Web Designer and Tampa SEO expert.  In my quest for pushing web sites to #1 on Google for over 10 years I have always wondered what the difference was from being #1 to #2 , #3 and so on. Since search keep their click statistics behind an iron curtain I was only able to rely on statistics from analytics until some search click statistics were accidentally leaked onto the web. Since one usually slips from #1 to #2 in the middle of the night without much alarm it was always hard to judge the effectiveness of top placement. Statistics always revealed it was best to be #1, but I myself have skipped over the #1 spot countless times and always figured there was somewhat of an equivalent of being in the top 3 spots. AOL accidentally leaked some of their search engine statistics to the internet. From AOLs huge pool of leaked data we were able to ascertain a lot. This gives some really solid insight into clicking habits of searchers. You might be as surprised as I am. Here are their findings:

Results in:

Total Searches: 9,038,794
Total Clicks: 4,926,623

Click Rank1: 2,075,765
Click Rank2: 586,100 = 3.5x less than ^
Click Rank3: 418,643 = 1.4x less than ^
Click Rank4: 298,532 = 1.4x less than ^
Click Rank5: 242,169 = 1.2x less than ^
Click Rank6: 199,541 = 1.2x less than ^
Click Rank7: 168,080 = 1.2x less than ^
Click Rank8: 148,489 = 1.1x less than ^
Click Rank9: 140,356 = 1.05x less than ^
Click Rank10: 147,551 = 1.05x more than ^


This means that you’ll get 3 1/2 times more traffic being #1 as opposed to #2, and the visitors do a virtual nose dive on their downward spiral to the bottom of page 1. Still a little confused? Let me put those statistics in another way:

Searcher Click Statistics:

Click Rank1: 2,075,765 42.13%
Click Rank2: 586,100 11.90%
Click Rank3: 418,643 8.50%
Click Rank4: 298,532 6.06%
Click Rank5: 242,169 4.92%
Click Rank6: 199,541 4.05%
Click Rank7: 168,080 3.41%
Click Rank8: 148,489 3.01%
Click Rank9: 140,356 2.85%
Click Rank10: 147,551 2.99%

Here are the subsequent page statistics:

1st page: 4,425,226 89.82%
2nd page: 501,397 10.18%

So 42.13% of searchers are clicking number one. That’s almost half. The next highest position #2 is only 11.90%. You will also notice that only 10% of people click through to page 2. So page two and anywhere after that start to become useless positions. You will get ~12x more traffic from the #1 spot to the #5 spot. It just gets worst any lower than that.

Forget being #2. If your SEO guy is happy with #2 you might want to search for another SEO guy. It pays to be King of the Hill.


November 15, 2011

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