A recent study [download page] from Chitika illustrates just how important search rankings are. According to the analysis (limited to Google search results in the US and Canada), the top position enjoys 32.5% share of traffic, almost double the 17.6% afforded the next result. From there the declines continue, with the 10th position garnering just 2.4% of the search traffic. The results are remarkably similar to another study conducted by Chitika 3 years ago, which found the top position fetching about 34% of traffic.
While that’s a steep slope, it’s nothing compared to the drop-off when going from page 1 to page 2. With results on the first page getting a hefty 91.5% of traffic, page 2 manages slightly less than 5%, and page 3 just over 1%. In other words, very few searchers make it past the first page, and the drop off in traffic from the last spot on one page to the first on the next is significant (140% from 10th to 11th result and 86% from 20th to 21st).
Last year, a study from Compete [download page] revealed that the first link in organic search results gets 53% of clicks, with numbers 2-5 combined totaling 34%. The distribution of paid clicks was even more top-heavy, with the first link at the top of the page getting 59% of paid clicks.
About the Data: Chitika Insights examined 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 webpage was on within the prior search results page. From this, Chitika could measure what percentage of Google traffic comes from each position of the search results page. The data set was drawn from a date range of May 21st to May 27th, 2013.