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An analysis: How are clicks from Google impacted by Google result rank?

UPDATE (7/1/22): Now that it is pretty evident that there is huge upside in jumping up in the rankings, one new method of improving rankings is to test your article titles with real people. This simple technique provides an easy way to understand what real users will click on or other roadblocks that would prevent them from clicking on your article title.

Being the top Google result for a key word or phrase is often seen as a tremendous achievement, but maintaining that spot isn’t easy. Since Chitika Insights’ last report about the value of Google result positioning, the site’s search algorithm has changed hundreds of times. With these changes in mind, the Insights team sought to update our Google result valuation statistics, looking to quantify what each spot on a Google results page is worth in terms of traffic from the search engine.

UPDATE (6/12/13): Following a few requests from our readers, below is a breakdown of average traffic percentages by Google result ranking for results 1-15, which were graphically represented in the original article:

Google Result Page Rank

Average Traffic Share































ORIGINAL ARTICLE (6/7/13): Since Chitika Insights’ last report in May 2010 about the value of Google result positioning, the Google search algorithm has changed hundreds of times. With these changes in mind, the Insights team sought to update our Google result valuation statistics. To quantify this study, 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 is able to extract the position that the webpage was on within the prior search results page. From this, Chitika can 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.

The percentage of traffic for each position looks very similar to results published three years ago. A website with the first position in the search results contributed to 33% of the traffic, compared to 18% for the second position.

The data also shows that the first position on any page of results contributed to more traffic than the second position in each respective page (i.e. traffic from users dropped by 27%, 11.3%, and 5.4% from the first position to second position in page two, three, and four). Also, similar to the previous report, the drop in traffic volume between the last position on a page and first position on the next page was high. The traffic dropped by 140% going from 10th to 11th position and 86% going from 20th to 21st position.

The drop in cumulative traffic moving from one page to another was even more significant.

Sites listed on the first Google search results page generate 92% of all traffic from an average search. When moving from page one to two, the traffic dropped by 95%, and by 78% and 58% for the subsequent pages.

While being the number one result on a Google search results page is obviously important, these numbers show just how big of an advantage websites of this type have over any competitors listed below them. The importance of SEO for online business is seemingly quantified by these latest statistics, which, judging by their similarity to those observed as part of the 2010 study, are not likely to change significantly in the near future.

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