Why there are no runners-up prizes in Google

Where do you want to be in the Google results? Top, presumably. But is second position nearly as good? What about third? The bad news for those of us with websites targeting informational queries (rather than transactional – i.e buying – queries) is revealed in SEO and Eye Tracking for Informational & Transactional Queries on Blogstorm. It would appear that anywhere in the top four is fine if you just want people to see your result, but unfortunately, unless your title in the results is extraordinary, just seeing the result is pretty useless. You need people to click on it – and for that, it’s top position or nothing, really. In a Microsoft study, 94% of people saw the top result and 89% clicked on it; the same proportion saw the second result but only 33% clicked on it. By fourth position only 17% were clicking on the result, and by eighth position you may as well not be there. I’m currently looking for search terms where one of my sites has moved from a consistent second position in Google to a consistent top spot (or vice-versa), so I can investigate the change in traffic. I suspect it might be scary.

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