Internet Marketing Ninjas Blog

Click Rate for Top 10 Search Results

Donna at SEO Scoop catches a post on Earnersforum where they used the recently released AOL Search Data to figure out click through rates for the the top 10 positions in search results.

For ages people have been guessing at these figurures – now we really know!

Results in:
Total Searches:9,038,794
Total Clicks: 4,926,623

Click Rank1: 2,075,765
Click Rank2: 586,100 = 3.5x less
Click Rank3: 418,643 = 4.9x less
Click Rank4: 298,532 = 6.9x less
Click Rank5: 242,169 = 8.5x less
Click Rank6: 199,541 = 10.4x less
Click Rank7: 168,080 = 12.3x less
Click Rank8: 148,489 = 14.0x less
Click Rank9: 140,356 = 14.8x less
Click Rank10: 147,551 = 14.1x less

Click Rank1: 2,075,765
Click Rank2: 586,100 = 3.5x less than ^
Click Rank3: 418,643 = 1.4x less than ^
Click Rank4: 298,532 = 1.4x less than ^
Click Rank5: 242,169 = 1.2x less than ^
Click Rank6: 199,541 = 1.2x less than ^
Click Rank7: 168,080 = 1.2x less than ^
Click Rank8: 148,489 = 1.1x less than ^
Click Rank9: 140,356 = 1.05x less than ^
Click Rank10: 147,551 = 1.05x more than ^

I believe that people who think it’s better to be anything other than #1 are just fooling themselves….click through rates and conversions aside, The fact lies that you’ll get 3 1/2 times more traffic being #1 as opposed to #2, and the numbers keep sliding from there.


32 Responses

  1. I think the people who are talking about not being #1 are referring to the quality of the traffic and not necessarily the quanitity. That is something more easily done with paid rather than free search.

    I sincerely hope they wouldn’t try to avoid top spot with SEO anyway!

  2. I personally think the people that say stay away from #1 in organic listings are saying it because they realize they can not put the client there to begin with.

    The figures above do show what many of us have said for quite some time however, my thanks go to AOl for bundering this dataset to the public view 🙂

  3. Or in another form:

    Results in:
    Total Searches: 9,038,794
    Total Clicks: 4,926,623

    % of clicks
    Click Rank1: 2,075,765 42.13%
    Click Rank2: 586,100 11.90%
    Click Rank3: 418,643 8.50%
    Click Rank4: 298,532 6.06%
    Click Rank5: 242,169 4.92%
    Click Rank6: 199,541 4.05%
    Click Rank7: 168,080 3.41%
    Click Rank8: 148,489 3.01%
    Click Rank9: 140,356 2.85%
    Click Rank10: 147,551 2.99%

    1st page: 4,425,226 89.82%
    2nd page: 501,397 10.18%

    It’s interesting that 10% of clicks are targeted at scond page… Big it up for aol for accidentally providing this info!!


  4. Earl – The first list is how clicks compare with the #1 spot, the second list is how the click compares with the spot preceding it (#2 vs #1, #3 vs #2, etc).

  5. Interesting stuff. These numbers are pretty good. The percentages on the top few are a little high vs. what we have from the other side (data mining & logfile analysis) but it’s understandable.

    We lose some clicks because not all browsers pass http-referrer strings, and I’d expect there to be more skew towards the #1 result on AOL.

    That’s where we got all the useless clicks for the term “search terms” when we ran Adwords. I’d love to see how many of the 20 million searches were for “Type AOL Keywords Or Search Terms Here.” 😀

    We also show a little wobble of CTR upwards from #9 to #10 because of the placement of that link on the SERPs, especially at Google.

  6. It would be interesting to hear from google, yahoo, and msn what their click stats look like compared to AOL. In theory you could determine the best search engine by who has the largest percentage of clicks on the first topic.

  7. Pingback: OrganicStats
  8. You can also find this information (top 10 CTR) in Neilsen’s recent Web Usability book. It’s on page 40 if your curious. There is also an iProspect study with some CTR data. You can use several sources and then weight each source depending on how well you trust it.

  9. The figures above do show what many of us have said for quite some time !!!

    SEO is king due to quality of content ….

    PPC is paid listing s and thus not king….

  10. I find this blog post very insightful (it helped me understand how to analyze the SERPs better).

    However, Im wondering if the difference between #1 and #2 for example would be as big as that if we looked at sales, not just at Click throughs.

    In PPC people know that searches imply intent by clicking at the bottom results and that there are quite a few compulsive clickers for #1. I bet this could be similar in the natural SERPs.

    Id love to see conversion rates for the top-10-results, but I doubt anyone has something like that hehe.

  11. Hi,
    that information is very usefull! Thanx a lot.
    Now it would be interesting, how many people who clicked on Rank1 came back an click on Rank2, 3, … With other words: How many percent did not find on Rank1 what they really have seach for…

  12. Gordon Tebbutt mentions in his comment that 10.18% of the people went on to the second result page.

  13. Good and interesting info, the difference is much bigger than I thought. Wonder what the difference is between 10 and 11 or 10 and 21. In theory they should have better click through rate for being on top of the page.

  14. AOL is a little different from a lot of the other search engines. As once you’ve used an “AOL search word” you are pretty much going to find that which has already been tagged for that word. I doubt that these numbers are representative of what happens on Ask, Google or Yahoo or MSN… and for that matter. As AOL isn’t one of the top search engines/directories… how can you actually regard this info as anything more than just a little interesting?

    Just a thought. 🙂

  15. It’s pretty interesting to know these facts. I wonder if all search engines have similar numbers or if the numbers at google are totally different. Even more interesting would be to know how organic results compared to paid results would look like.

  16. Hi Jim.

    Great information on organic click through rates. Guido, most likely these numbers match Google’s because Google powers AOLs search results.

    I would believe that the paid results would get a lower CTR by the very nature of it being paid. However, for commerce related searches like ipod or something, it may in fact yield a hire CTR because those paid listings are commerce related. If you are doing more of a research or informational search, my guess would be the organic listings would have a higher CTR but I have no hard data to prove any of this,

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