The Custard Blog

Words of wisdom from our team of online marketing experts

SEO study reveals top 3 positions receive 35% of traffic

In just five years the number of people clicking through the top three Google positions has fallen by almost half according to a new study done by an American SEO company. The top 3 search engine results now generate 35% of all traffic, compared to 62% in 2006. But what does this mean for SEO and what does this show us about the changing behaviour of internet users?

What are click through rates?

A click through rate is worked out by comparing the number of impressions (ie the number of times your site comes up in the Google results) with the number of people who have clicked onto your website from the results. It’s a good measure of how successful your site is, but obviously can only tell you that a visitor has come to your site and doesn’t reveal information about conversions.


Changing behaviour of internet users

As well as looking at the data for this year, the team behind the study compared what they had discovered with three other studies from 2010, 2007 and 2006. Although it’s just a few years ago, internet behaviour was very different in 2006 because as a whole people were much less tech-savvy and also had slower internet connections.

In 2006, being Google number one could get you 42.1% of the traffic. By 2010 this had dropped to 36.4% and in this year’s study, the CTR is now 18.2% – a significant change.

The results of the study have also found that back in 2006, 89.6% of people clicked on links on the first page. This has dropped to 52.4% for 2011, so even sites on page 2 and beyond are getting a good amount of clicks. There could be a number of reasons for this; maybe internet users know more about SEO or they don’t just assume that whatever comes up first is what they want to see, whatever the reasons are, search behaviour is changing and this is something that SEOs need to be aware of.


What does this study mean for SEO?

As an SEO company, we aim to get our clients to Google number one for their main keywords. Although the main aim of SEO is to get websites to rank as highly as possible, this new study suggests that not being in the top 3 isn’t the end of the world as internet users are still clicking through on lower ranking pages however having a higher page rank will always up your chances of receiving more site visitors.

SEO has come a long way in the last few years as Google has picked up on black hat SEO techniques such as keyword stuffing and hidden text (ie black text on a black background) which it now rejects, so this is why it’s important to get SEO services from a reputable company such as Custard Media so contact us today to find out what we can do for you!

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