Where Do All Your Clicks Come From In SEO ?

Although I am moving away from SEO, or at least trying to have less reliance on it, I wanted to note these facts so that they are always handy. It also rams home how difficult SEO is becoming, especially now that Google are taking more of the search results slots with paid inclusion, as the only place to be in the results pages is page 1.

Here is a chart of the searches that Google says the top 10 positions in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) get :

  • Position #1: 45.46% of all clicks
  • Position #2: 15.69% of all clicks
  • Position #3: 10.09% of all clicks
  • Position #4: 5.49% of all clicks
  • Position #5: 5.00% of all clicks
  • Position #6: 3.94% of all clicks
  • Position #7: 2.51% of all clicks
  • Position #8: 2.94% of all clicks
  • Position #9: 1.97% of all clicks
  • Position #10: 2.71% of all clicks

Total: 95.91% of all clicks occur on Page #1 of SERPs”

As you can see, 70% of all natural search clicks happen on the first 3 results. I don’t know if this includes the paid advertising but if paid inclusion comes in outside of hotels and airline flights, you’ll find it hard to get many people clicking through to your site.

Or maybe people will get wise to paid inclusion and ignore like many people seem to ignore the ads at the top of the page. Perhaps these figures will change in time in other words.

Nevertheless, if you can’t rank your site in the top 3 places you may as well be nowhere. And don’t even bother with the second page. Less than 5% of all clicks happen after the first page.

So it comes down to finding rare niches where there is very little competition or establishing yourself as an authority. I see some people still advising that the niche site model works but they qualify this statement by saying in small niches where there is not much interest. This is a tough gig to pull off for me. It seems like it has no long term future and could be wiped out with a simple change of an algorithm. Nice to play around with but tough to call a business.

Going for an authority site seems far more stable in my view, as once you establish authority, new pages will rank very highly and quickly. Even so, As Tim the builder can attest, even authority sites can get bounced by Google. Fortunately for him, he created a list and had his own products to sell. In other words, the model allowed him not to be reliant on any one entity completely. This makes sense for a long term, sustainable business.

2 Responses to “Where Do All Your Clicks Come From In SEO ?”

  • Entrepreneur Student on July 4, 2012

    Thanks for sharing Adrian. I like your writing style.

    On one hand it’s good that SEO is becoming harder because the good SEO’s will have less competition.

    Regarding your paragraph on ranking in the top 3 or don’t bother, I totally agree. If I can add something it’s that you should buy traffic from adwords and Bing first to see which keywords actually convert for you. Once you know that then you can wisely invest your precious time on SEO.

    Too many times, speaking from experience, you spend so much time working on the wrong keywords or you never get to the top 3 spots for whatever reason and then you have nothing to show for your efforts.

  • admin on July 4, 2012

    Thanks for the comment Nick,

    Relying on SEO has always been a mugs game imo, even though that’s is how I got started and still rely on it too much. Most people are squeamish about spending money on traffic when they first start out but what you say is on the money provided you can find a winning keyword.

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