The Value of a #1 Position in Google Despite the Ever Changing Ranking Landscape

What is the value of a #1 position in Google? As business owners, it is natural to want to measure the success of your marketing campaign by several ideals that you have determined at the start of your marketing efforts. A very common measurement is, where did I rank … and where do I rank now? You want to be ahead of the competition. You want to be the #1 position in Google. A new study from online advertising network Chitika determines how much traffic each position receives by evaluating tens of millions of ad impressions.

Let’s take a closer look.

The following charts show the conclusions of the study. The coveted #1 position will receive 33% of the search traffic. In comparison, the #2 position will receive 18%, the #3 position will receive 11% and it decreases from there. This conclusion is true no matter what results page you are looking at. Whether page 1, page 2, page 3, etc of the results, the #1 position holds the highest amount of traffic and drops from there . Similarly, the drop in traffic volume between the last position on a page and first position on the next page was relevant. Traffic dropped by 140% going from 10th to 11th position and 86% going from 20th to 21st position.

This should confirm the importance of SEO for your business! It takes quite a bit of work to achieve a #1 position and to keep it – but the hard work to achieve high rankings will pay off.

Learn the value of a #1 position in Google

The second chart depicting Chitika’s results show that Page 1 of Google  receives 92% of  the search traffic.  Page 2 search results had an incredible decrease in traffic and registered at 5%!

2nd chart from chitika

Striving to reach the top of the search engines needs to be high priority, but have you noticed how the landscape has changed? There are more than 80 different variations of a #1 position in Google! Will the results of a similar study be drastically different in 2014? Let’s examine a few of the #1 position types.

The days of “ten blue links” are so over. We lovingly refer to them as the “good ol’ days” when life as an SEO was simpler. When #1 meant #1. Things got complicated when Google rewarded the #1 position with site links that expanded the listing, offered links / descriptions to more pages on the site and pushed #2 further down the page.  Then image results entered the scene and changes in Local altered the look of page 1 completely. Take a gander at some of the search results we are seeing now and how it is affecting the #1 position.

In this example, you’ll see the for the keyword “currency converter”, Google has given you a solution / answer ahead of the #1 position. Has Google answered my question before I even have to click on a website?

currency converter Google result

In this example of a serp for search phrase “justin bieber”, you can see that Google is providing us with quite a bit of information right on the page. Will this provide the information we were searching for without having to click further onto a website?

Justin Bieber Google reult

In this example for the Norfolk Zoo, you can see that Google is pulling in Google Plus info on the right. I can see the telephone number, an address and  link for directions and hours of operation. This info may have just answered my question before I even had to click on a link.

Norfolk Zoo Google Results Page

We won’t go over the other 80+ variations. But you can see how the landscape of the #1 position in Google is changing dramatically. It is the job of your SEO to continue to make your listing compelling and clickable. It is the job of your SEO to continue to find new forms of incoming traffic and to keep your website and marketing plan moving forward. If you feel it’s time to hire an outside SEO Firm, join the Mannix Marketing family!