Chitika, search-based online advertising network, reckons that top rankings on Google is worth double the traffic of ranking in the number 2 spot, in a report announced on their blog today.
It's an important metric for search marketers everywhere, as it's the single most important consumer behavior in our business. Aside from emerging trends in social media sharing, this single behavior surrounding the top spot of Google is the most monetized on the internet.
Just think what would happen to our industry if users did actually look beyond the first set of results? Yes, that's right, we'd all be librarians. Anyway, even if you have known that being number one is important, did you know *how* important it was?
Chitika decided to find out what it was worth to them by looking at a sample of traffic coming into its network from Google and broke it down by Google results placement. The top organic position drove 34.35% of all traffic in the sample, almost the combined total of positions 2 through 5 slots, and more than the combined total of traffic to longtail positions, 5 through 20 (the end of page 2).
"Obviously, everyone knows that the #1 spot on Google is where you want to be," says Chitika research director Daniel Ruby. "It's just kind of shocking to look at the numbers and see just how important it is, and how much of a jump there is from 2 to 1."
The largest behavioral jump, measured as a percentage-change, is from the top of page 2 to the bottom of page 1. Going from the 11th spot to 10th sees a 143% jump in traffic, proving that a very small percentage of users click through to the second page whilst searching online.
This research confirms what many search marketers know or suspected already from behavioral experiments on SERPs involving heatmaps and other research. Yet it's nice to see an independent study from the webmasters point of view. Let's hope other large networks in other industry niches conduct a similar experiment.
It proves, once again, that your website really needs to be on the first page of results to get any real chance of being seen. And to build a successful business online you really need to get your website into positions 1-4 for a variety of terms - those specific Google positions, combined, command a whopping 70% of all traffic to websites!