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First Position Versus Number 10 Ranking?
Number 1 Position Versus Number 10 Rank? A Recent Study Reveals The Truth
By Brent Winters
Originally Published: July, 2004
Recently, I ran across an
interesting study [PDF]
by the Atlas Institute that examined how much traffic a Web site could expect to receive based upon which position your page occupied in the top 10 results. If you ever thought that occupying position 4 was about as good as position 1, then think again.
Click-Through Rate Declines Rapidly After #1
According to the study, you can expect your click-through rate to decline rapidly after position 1. Click-through rate, or CTR, is computed by dividing the number of times a listing or ad was clicked by the number of impressions, or times it was viewed.
A search engine will have a limited number of impressions for any given keyword or phrase. Think of these impressions as a Boston crème pie with each search position occupying a slice of that pie. Unfortunately, if you're last in line at the desert bar, the piece of pie you get will be dramatically smaller the further you are from that first slice.
For example, with Overture, if you receive 100 clicks per day for a number 1 position on "strawberry cheesecake," then according to the study, you could expect to receive about 77 clicks in the number 2 position. A number 3 position drops to about 59 clicks. By the time you reach position 10, you would receive only 7 or 8 clicks. The relative percentages vary between Overture and Google AdWords, but the conclusion remains the same: You can literally double your traffic by simply improving your rankings by a few positions.
Paid Placement Implications
So when dealing with paid placement, should you always go for that number 1 slot? Only if maximizing your traffic is of paramount importance, as you'll normally pay a premium for the first few positions. You must know how much you can afford to pay before you begin to lose money. Otherwise, you can burn through a lot of cash in a hurry. (
Are You Paying Too Much For Pay Per Click Advertising?
With organic search, computing ROI (return on investment) is less straightforward, but it's also less risky. Organic listings are free. You have an investment in time getting started, but once you secure that number 1 placement, you could receive the aforementioned 100 clicks per day for free.
Top Google Ranking Nets A Business Millions
This article is copyrighted and has been reprinted with permission from FirstPlace Software.
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