#1 Rankings Remain King of the Mountain
There have been a number of studies over the years which compare the click through rates for various organic search result positions, the latest being a study by Slingshot. Each study has found that the click through rate drops dramatically as your search ranking drops, with the #1 result obtaining a majority of the search traffic for any given keyword phrase.
Slingshot’s study confirms this, with the #1 ranking obtaining 18% of clicks. Looking at the graph below, you can see how quickly traffic drops off as you rank lower, with the #2 ranking receiving 10%, the #3 ranking 7%, right down to 1% for the #10 ranking. This pattern has been consistent in a number of studies over the past 5 years.
What does that mean for you and I? #1 rankings are still the king of the mountain and will deliver substantially more traffic that lower rankings. #2 to #6 rankings also drive significant traffic, but beyond there you’re fighting over just 6.2% of the total traffic for rankings #7 to #10. And beyond #10, there’s very little traffic left.
You may have noticed that if you add up all of these numbers, they don’t add up to 100% (only 52.32% actually). So where do the rest of the clicks go? Some clicks go to ads, local listings, video listings, or news listings, while others abandon the search (usually when they don’t immediately find what they’re looking for and refine their search).