19 May

Importance of getting the #1 spot in the search engines

Does anyone know of statistics that will show what percentage of users click on the top result, what percent clicks the second, and so on. There was a paper that looked at the behavior of search engine users and gave some data on this precise question.

The paper was written by Dr. Bernard Jansen and Amanda Spink of Pennslyvania State University entitled “An Analysis of Web Documents Retrieved and Viewed.” It was presented at the 4th International Conference on Internet Computing, Las Vegas, Nevada in June 2003. It looked at the behavior of search engine users, including how many clicks on the #1 ranked site for the keyword, #2, and so on.

Their analysis showed that it really pays to be #1 for the keyword (or at least in the first page of the search engine results) as there is a "sharp decrease in the number of viewings between the first and second, and the second and third pages of results..." As for how many clicks on each search engine results rank, their findings showed:

Web Documents Viewed Per Query
Rank = percentage who clicks

# 1 = 54.3 %
# 2 = 18.9 %
# 3 = 9.4 %
# 4 = 5.5 %
# 5 = 3.3 %
# 6 = 2.2 %
# 7 = 1.5 %
# 8 = 1.0 %
# 9 = 0.8 %
# 10 = 0.6 %
# > 10 = 2.5 %

The above stats only reinforce the importance of getting in the first page of the search engines for your keywords, and the tremendous advantage of getting the #1. If you have been in a situation where your page was previously #1 and then slowly slips down, you can really see the impact on your traffic as you move down the search engine results ranking. It is one big ouch

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