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2nd Page Rankings: You’re the #1 Loser

 

“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. first vs second page results

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.

About the Author

toddjensen
Todd Jensen

Todd Jensen started in his online marketing career while working at eBay for over 6 years. He has a passion for high quality content driving online marketing results. A training and learning development background compliment his marketing expertise nicely, as he works hard to obtain endorsements for his clients by creating content that offers valuable information and increases the equity and long term presence of a website.

34 Comments

  1. Posted on April 18, 2011 at 5:39 pm by Eric

    I find myself almost always relying on Google to finish my search with its instant feature. Then I am almost always using the top 3 pages unless I am looking for something very specific, or a company website. Even though its not that difficult to get to the second page it just seems like its that much extra time I have to spend when I can be looking at results on the first page. As long as Google is able to keep the search results relevant to what I’m looking for I will stay on the first page.

  2. Posted on April 18, 2011 at 6:08 pm by admin

    I think the research in this article shows that most people think like you do. I’m not always happy with the spammy results that show up on the first page, but more times than naught I find what I need to by simply typing in a phrase and keep typing until the query brings up something I like in the first 3 spots.

  3. Posted on October 26, 2011 at 8:12 pm by Quora

    What is the distribution of traffic between Google organic search results? e.g. #1 vs. #2 in rankings, first page vs. second page…

    I was looking for similar information before coming to Quora… I found a few websites that give some very good information. Sources are below. Note that I would be very interested in tracking this myself on my website… I am trying to figure out the …

  4. Posted on November 9, 2011 at 6:03 am by Beep-Beep! Increase traffic through blogging « Abstrakt Marketing Group

    [...] is one of the easiest ways to increase your ranking on Google. Researchers have found that over 95 percent of Googlers click first page results while only six percent even bother checking out the …. With that being said, here are a few tips that will help you during the blogging [...]

  5. Posted on November 30, 2011 at 2:35 pm by andrew broadbent

    Why is this site only a Page Rank 1?

  6. Posted on January 31, 2012 at 6:53 am by Megan

    I personally find that the length of my search is related to what I am looking for, if it is something which I am eager to find reliable information I will search further afield to pages 2 and maybe 3,4 but if it something low priority I will stick to the top of the first page.

    I am interested to see if peoples attitudes change depending on where a site is ranked, for example do people trust information from the first page more than others or do they feel if they find something on page 4 it may be more exclusive and thus more interesting?

  7. Posted on January 31, 2012 at 3:37 pm by The Power (Curve) of Search Engine Positioning | Brian Rants

    [...] This great article by Todd Jensen explains how 2nd page is 1st loser. [...]

  8. Posted on May 31, 2012 at 8:34 am by Search Engine Marketing Can Help Your Website Be Found | 2012digitalmarketing

    [...] 3. Brand Awareness will occur from being listed on the first page of search results rather than the 2nd page. [...]

  9. Posted on June 17, 2012 at 5:54 pm by Alb

    I have always been looking for such data. I am planning to target some keywords with a huge volume of traffic and I was wondering if second page was profitable. Not always 1st makes people happy so it isnt the end if u reach it. You should work to attract people by ur description.

  10. Posted on June 30, 2012 at 3:26 pm by Kevin

    Wow. Impressive results. I’ve been looking for stats like this to show my potential clients, and I dig this article! Will be using these for sure. Thanks.

  11. Posted on July 18, 2012 at 7:27 am by Importance of Showing Up On The First Page of Google - Progreshion (by Gresham Harkless)

  12. Posted on September 11, 2012 at 5:00 pm by 10 Must-know things about pagination

    [...] they don’t allow to get to the page 37 at once. This is not urgent because less than 7%(http://www.gravitateonline.com/google-search/2nd-place-1st-place-loser-seriously ) users click on the second search page [...]

  13. Posted on September 12, 2012 at 2:45 am by Zimp Fluffers

    I’m on page two, climbing up like a rabid cat trying to get a mouse at the top of a tree.

  14. Posted on September 16, 2012 at 11:43 am by chris

    I have question, if no one minds?

    I have a site at #1 on page 1 with a keyword that gets 5,000,000 searches a month, but I only get around 20 visits a day.

    It’s only been at #1 for a couple of days, but I was expecting a lot more traffic. Does it take time for it or ?

  15. Posted on September 18, 2012 at 9:08 am by M. D. Vaden portland landscaping

    Watching this stuff for years, I still wonder what the bigger story is behind all this, at least for my industry which is landscaping and tree care.

    No question more clicks go to the first few positions on page one. But I know how big the companies are for my niche, and it’s evident that they are not getting all that business. There is no way their crews are big enough or numerous enough.

    So that means there has to be more to the big picture, like how many people clicking, are really the serious buyers of a service. And of those serious ones who sill spend money, how many of those are the ones who are also racking-up clicks on #10 or #16 down the list.

  16. Posted on October 12, 2012 at 11:47 am by JoeWallis

    Hi Chris,

    Here are a few things to look at:
    Make sure you aren’t looking at personalized search results. That can make it look like your rankings are a lot better than they actually are.
    Even if you have top position, if the meta title and description aren’t well written, people may pass it by. In fact, a poor title is often all it takes to drive clicks away!
    Are those people looking for a specific brand or company?

    It does take time to build up your own credibility, even with great SERP rankings. In the meantime, make sure the 20 people who are visiting each day have a great experience on your site and find what they are after. Every sale makes a difference!

  17. Posted on October 12, 2012 at 11:55 am by JoeWallis

    M.D. Vaden, that’s a great point. Great rankings are only the first step in a successful online business model. We also put a lot of focus on the design and layout of the site. A click is worthless if it doesn’t lead to a good on page experience. A large portion of the work we do for customers is focused on converting site visits to sales.

  18. Posted on November 2, 2012 at 10:48 am by Why Guaranteed SEO is the only way to go

    [...] (aside from manually  looking up your website’s current rankings)?!?  A study conducted by Todd Jensen shows that of all search queries, the #10 ranking (typically the last spot on the first page of [...]

  19. Posted on November 22, 2012 at 5:03 pm by Al Leyland

    Google suggest, then top 3 listings. That’s how I search, mostly. Sometimes down to result number 5 or 6, depending on the size of the screen.

    I’ve heard it said, though, that Page 1 is for information seekers, mostly. Wonder if this has any credence. Either way I don’t really care.

    If a site is not on Page 1, result 1 – 7, then it has failed. Period.

  20. Posted on January 16, 2013 at 10:45 am by Click

    I always assumed that the top three in particular had no real impression difference(figured #1 probably won but not by much). Man was I wrong, had no idea top spot commanded a third of all impressions.

    Thanks for the heads up.

    Question: were these findings consistent with other search queries and aggregating the results or were they just using one? 8 million search results seem on the low side for multiple entries.

  21. Posted on February 22, 2013 at 7:27 pm by The most competitive market in the world ! | Constant Change

    [...] shows that when searching for something on the internet using a search engine like google  less than 5% of the people , scroll down and click the next page button if they dont find what they are looking [...]

  22. Posted on March 8, 2013 at 9:21 pm by SEO-WHY? | Mr Taylor Warwick - Understandings & Insights

    [...] http://www.gravitateonline.com/google-search/2nd-place-1st-place-loser-seriously Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… [...]

  23. Posted on April 11, 2013 at 8:38 am by 4 Consumer Behaviours & Marketing Strategies Effected By Social Media and What Brands Can Learn From Them | H & H Social Design

    [...] The battle of the first page of search wages, and while Google Adwords campaigns should be considered, focusing efforts on a content [...]

  24. Posted on April 14, 2013 at 7:44 pm by How Buying Behaviour Has Changed | billyelusiv.com

    [...] courtesy of gravitateonline.com, but original data [...]

  25. Posted on April 27, 2013 at 12:34 pm by Derek

    Excellent post. I definitely see a traffic bump when my keywords move from 6 to 4, or 4 to 2. Being on the first page is great but being at the top is awesome.

  26. Posted on May 27, 2013 at 2:37 pm by Joe Hage

    Todd, do you have updated information with 2013 statistics?

  27. Posted on September 18, 2013 at 8:39 am by admin

    Hey Joe- I don’t have updated data. I’d love to post some if you can find any. I’d be happy to cite you and send you some link love for the help! Thanks!

  28. Posted on December 9, 2013 at 8:04 pm by Op-Ed: The New Google Insists Content Remains King

    [...] that a great majority of Google users only review the first page of search results. According to Gravitate Online, “A sample of over 8 million clicks shows that over 94% of users clicked on a first page [...]

  29. Posted on December 12, 2013 at 12:24 am by The Applebox Digital Marketing Solution… What’s all the Fuss About?

    [...] people look past the first page of Google’s search results – only 6% of online users (source). So unless you don’t want to reach the other 94%, we’ll need to make sure your website [...]

  30. Posted on February 19, 2014 at 2:46 am by What is my website worth? | BlueEyed Digital Marketing Ltd BlueEyed Digital Marketing Ltd

    [...] show that over 94% of users clicked on a first page result and less than 6% even viewing page 2 (Gravitate). Need we say any more about the value of page ranking? Thought [...]

  31. Posted on August 5, 2014 at 12:28 am by The Devon SEO Co | Blog

    [...] example, we found a study showing that 94 percent of users don’t bother to check the second page of Google’s [...]

  32. Posted on August 5, 2014 at 12:39 am by The Benefits of SEO | NXTFactor

    [...] not a secret that people usually don’t bother looking at search results after the first page at Google. Think about it – when you’re looking for [...]

  33. Posted on August 14, 2014 at 9:30 pm by How Many Google Search Results Pages do you use? | David Zych

    [...] I have realized that I generally only look at the first few results that Google returns when I search for something. I might scroll down and view the entire first page of results, but never will I click onto the second page. It looks like I’m not alone on this one either: [...]

  34. Posted on August 16, 2014 at 1:08 pm by SEO: Moving up in Google - Business Tent

    [...] of many web entrepreneurs. In fact, many people do not navigate beyond the first page of Google. Gravitate Online conducted a study and found that, given a search result, 94% of people clicked on a first page [...]

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