“Congratulations…you almost won.”

“Of all the losers you came in first… of that group.”

“You’re the #1…loser.”

“No one lost…ahead of you.”

-Jerry Seinfeld

At least 2-3 times each week I get asked about the value of showing up on the first page of Google versus the second. How many people actually scroll to the bottom of the page and click the ‘next’ link? Several months ago Chitika (ChiTika- not the banana people) Insights studied the click through rates of each position on the first and second pages of a query, and their findings clearly demonstrate the HUGE difference between first and second page results- and the traffic that each position get.

A sample of over 8 million clicks shows that over 94% of users clicked on a first page result and less than 6% actually clicking to the second page and selecting a result displayed there.  One of the biggest drop off’s is between the 10 spot (bottom of the first page) and the 11 spot (top of the second page) from 2.71% down to 1.11%. That’s a 143% dip from one position to the next. Even though the second page doesn’t get many clicks, I’m starting to see some firms advertise second page placement. It just shows how competitive some phrases are getting if companies find ROI in the scraps. Are these clicks, albeit few and far between, more qualified than first page clicks? I’d like to hear feedback or see any research on the question. Feel free to post any ideas or online resources.

The first position has always been the most clicked on location, but many are surprised to see that it gets over 1/3 of all the available clicks. Hence, the  exponential nature (richter-scale-esque) of increasing difficulty as one tries to move up the rankings.  I wonder if the top few spots have increased in clicks with the fairly new Google Instant feature. My behavior has definitely changed, as I tend to watch the results as I type- waiting for one of the top rankings to answer my query as I type.  Let me know if you’re the same- do you find yourself relying on the combination of the first 2-3 results and Google Instant to track down sites you want to visit? Are you still typing your query and scrolling through the page? I will be watching these stats over the next several months to see if they shift at all- and posting my findings.