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What's the Value of Being the Top Google Search Result?

by Ayaz Nanji  |  
July 8, 2013

A website with the first position in Google results receives 33% of the search traffic for a keyword or phrase, compared with 18% for the second position, according to a recent report by Chitika Insights.

In addition, being in the first position on any page of results contributes to more traffic than the second position on that page. For example, traffic from users drops 27%, 11.3%, and 5.4% from the first position to second position on pages two, three, and four, respectively, of Google search results.

Below, additional findings from the report, which was based on an analysis of Google search traffic in the United States and Canada.

Traffic Volume By Page

There is a significant drop in traffic volume between the last position on a page and first position on the next page. For example, the 10th search result received 2.4% of traffic on average, while the 11th received only 1%.

The drop in cumulative traffic moving from one page to another is even more significant. Sites listed on the first Google search results page generate 91.5% of all traffic from an average search. When moving from page one to two, the traffic drops 95%—and 78% and 58% for the next two pages, respectively.

About the research: The report was based on an analysis of tens of millions of online ad impressions in which the user was referred to the page via a Google search. From the referring Google URL, Chitika was able to extract the position that the page was on within the prior search results page. The data was collected between May 21 and May 27, 2013.

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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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  • by Christina Tarkoff Mon Jul 8, 2013 via web

    Hey Ayaz: Thanks for making us aware of this study. I am alway telling folks to not be obsessed with acquiring #1 on Google search. But, this study gives some great insight into page 1 vs the succeeding pages.

  • by Randy Milanovic Mon Jul 8, 2013 via iphone

    Being #1 is crucial to opening opportunities to NEW business.

  • by Gracious store Mon Jul 8, 2013 via web

    There is no doubt that people tend to click on the first link on the very page there are in

  • by Rob Willox Tue Jul 9, 2013 via web

    Being on the first page of search results is clearly the objective of any search marketing campaign and a no1 position the perfect outcome. If memory serves well the CRT appears to have reduced from previous research findings and may reflect a change in search behaviour.

    It's long been recognised that the top spot will get the majority of the clicks and if you can achieve that well and good but we shouldn't obsess over it and pour all our efforts into that one objective.

    The lower positions are still valuable and having good rankings for a wider range of, perhaps less competitive, phrases can result in as many visitors who may be more targeted and in the long run even more profitable.

  • by Vee Tue Jul 9, 2013 via web

    Hi Ayez. Thank you for the post. Please would you clarify if this study is including paid search results too, or is this organic search engine results value?

  • by Nick Stamoulis of Brick Marketing Tue Jul 9, 2013 via web

    There is no denying that ranking well means big numbers for a site. I just wish site owners would understand that ranking well for a short list of keywords isn't the only thing that matters! There is an infinite amount of search phrases out there and 3 thousand of them could be sending traffic your way. Just because you don't see yourself at #1 for a particular keyword that doesn't mean your SEO has failed.

  • by Randy Milanovic Tue Jul 9, 2013 via iphone

    I can attest that enjoying just under 100 page one keywords is a really, really good thing. I detail the (ethical) process we follow on our site at

  • by Erika Fiest Tue Jul 9, 2013 via web

    Curious if this is branded or non-branded keywords?

  • by Sue Brady Wed Jul 10, 2013 via web

    Nice article. Can you clarify if this information is for paid search results or organic? Thanks.

  • by Randy Wed Jul 10, 2013 via web

    Hi Erika. Natural longtail Keywords. Some localized. None branded (those are a given).

  • by Ayaz Nanji Sun Jul 14, 2013 via web

    Vee & Sue, this data is for organic search results only. I'll keep a lookout for any similar research covering paid.

  • by Jim Sat Aug 3, 2013 via web

    Being on top of search results does bring some good results.

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