How many Google search engine users end up clicking on the first free (‘natural’ or ‘organic’) result? Is all that effort required at getting the ‘top result in Google’ really worth it?
The answer, according to a new study, is just 29%. The second result gets 16% and the tenth (last) result on the first results page gets just 2.5%, or 1 in 40.
Of course, the layout of a results page varies wildly, from those where the first result is literally at the top of the page, to those where it can’t even be seen without scrolling down, thanks to the mass of adverts, local results and more. The study says that the clickthrough rate for the top position varies between 14% (when there are Google Shopping results) and 47% (when the top result is so strong that it also gets a set of ‘sitelinks‘).
One result which stood out was that a search results page which has a ‘featured snippet‘ reduces the clickthrough rate on the first result (below it) to 23%, but increases the clickthrough rate of the the results in positions 2, 3 and 4.
Interestingly, the study found that “most of the keywords we measured consist of purely organic results: 10 blue links, as in the early days of Google, and no other distracting elements.” For those of us who are under the impression that almost every search comes with enhancements of some sort, this may be a surprise. But it shows how many quite complex searches are made which do not trigger ads, shopping results, featured snippets and the like. You can see an example of the ‘good old days’ of Google by creating a fairly nonsensical search.
The study is discussed at Why (almost) everything you knew about Google CTR is no longer valid on the Sistrix blog.