tedster - 1:33 am on Jun 2, 2010 (gmt 0)
Here's a comparison that could relate. In 2006 there was a data leak from AOL - and AOL was (is) using Google data for organic search, but they're hot using Google's entire page configuration. This year Chitika did a similar study [chitika.com] for Google.com. Bumping the two sets of data together:
The 2006 AOL click rate for #2 was 3.5 times less than #1
The 2010 Chitika click rate for #2 was 2.0 times less than #1
Yes, the two data sets are nearly four years apart, but that is a very large difference. Something has lowered the relative value of a #1 ranking. To address this thread's title question - no, #1 rankings are not worthless. But they are certainly worth "less".