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Does Anyone Have Current Click Through Rates for top Organic Rankings?

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Msg#: 4637707 posted 9:46 pm on Jan 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

I was looking through some old notes from about 6 or 7 years ago and came across some data on average CTRs for top organic rankings. I don't remember where the information came from, but this is what my notes say:

Position 1: 47% CTR
Position 2: 13% CTR
Position 3: 9% CTR
Position 4: 7% CTR

(Most likely those are averages for a variety of different search terms.)

I can also remember a time years ago, when according to WMT, some of my number 1 ranked pages had CTRs as high as 60%.

But all of that was long ago, at a time when there was no knowledge graph, and far fewer ads were shown directly above the organic results.

I know that a lot of small sites have lost traffic in recent years due to various filters, penalties and such. But my guess is that even sites that still enjoy high rankings are getting considerably less traffic from Google than they used to.

So I wanted to ask if anyone has any current or recent data on organic CTRs.



WebmasterWorld Administrator goodroi us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Msg#: 4637707 posted 11:42 pm on Jan 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

IMHO this answer doesn't exist anymore. There are so many different factors that I feel you can't make an accurate blanket estimate anymore.

Here are some things that can impact the CTR to different degrees:
Are adwords appearing on top of organic results or not?
Is Google showing 10 organic results or another amount?
Is Google showing the carousel on top?
Is Google showing the local box on top?
Is Google showing their knowledge graph?
Is Google adding in any of their other universal serp addons?
How much is Google personalizing the serps?
Is it a mobile serp or regular serp?
Does a listing have a Google+ profile pic showing?

I do love crunching data and reviewing research. Hopefully someone else can show some accurate numbers and share how they researched it.


WebmasterWorld Administrator goodroi us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Msg#: 4637707 posted 11:55 am on Jan 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

Also I would be extra careful when using research from search marketing companies. Some of them have developed a bad habit of pushing out flawed research for the purpose of linkbait and/or attracting new clients. I am not saying all search marketing companies do this. I am just reminding people to keep in mind the source of their data. For example tobacco companies have published many studies showing cigarettes are harmless. Few companies are altruistic enough to provide real unbiased research.


5+ Year Member

Msg#: 4637707 posted 12:21 pm on Jan 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

I agree with goodroi. CTR also depends on the niche.

There's a site in a relatively high-competition niche, ranking #1 for its main keyword and the CTR according to GWT is just 19%. This is a standard Google results page, 10 results, no carousel, national searches, no knowledge graph. I might consider this to be a horrible CTR but to be honest I'm not that bothered because according to the bounce rate and other engagement metrics, the site is ok.

Another factor might be brand recognition. If the top result is a site that nobody knows and the #2 result is a well-known brand, I wouldn't be at all surprised to find the #2 to have a much better CTR than #1.

woody midrib

Msg#: 4637707 posted 8:35 pm on Jan 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

I think it mainly depends on how the titles and snippets of the top results compare to each other. Some of my top keywords have CTRs of 70% and more simply because they're much more relevant than the other results.

I just had a look in WMT, and there's one search term where the average position is 2.8 and CTR is 71%. The keywords are "<brand> <other term>" and the top 2 results are from the brand website but have nothing to do with the other term.

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