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the difference in traffic between #1 and #2 is negligible



7:24 pm on Jul 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

good news for all of you stuck at #2?

we rose to #1 for our major keyword at the beginning of this month. we were #2 (actually #3 behind an indented second listing) for the previous months of the year.

our stats:

1) the % of people who have found our site using just this one keyword has not changed significantly (approx. 9%)

2) the amount of traffic has not changed significantly.

3) the % of google referrals has gone up slightly from 30% to 33%, but we attribute this more to the fact that our forums have been spidered for the first time, and are bringing us a great deal of topic-related traffic.

i have always suspected that the difference between being #1 and #2 is negligible, and feel confident that this is now borne out by our stats.

anyway just wanted to share.

p.s. of course the image benefits of being #1 are FAR better for advertising sales ;-)


7:47 pm on Jul 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Makes sense. Don't most people go to several sites for comparison shopping, unless they know the brand of widgets they want, and are searching for that specific site?


7:52 pm on Jul 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rfgdxm1 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

May depend on the topic of the page. My logic has been that when it comes to the top 3 positions or so the most critical thing is something to attract the user. Like a really catchy page title. Ideally something sensational to drag them in. This doesn't work unless you are near the top.


7:57 pm on Jul 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Being #1 is more or less an ego thing. People are going to shop around; be it information or products. If you are 1, 2, or 3. There really is not going to be that big of a differance in your hits. That has been my experiance with quite a few sites. After 5 you do start noticing noticeable drops.


8:03 pm on Jul 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Since dom, I've dropped from #6 to #9 then to #14. Traffic has improved by 10%. many of the sites now above me aren't relevant, so they keep looking until they find what they want. Another reason not to worry about bad sites that rise to the top because of spam.


8:12 pm on Jul 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Actually, no#1 is probably much better. Right now is summer traffic which is generally slower. If you maintaining your traffic then it probably would be equivalent to increasing visitors. Usually, during the summer traffic drips by 20-40%.
No.#1 is also good because people think somehow that #1 site must be the best and most trustworthy. It is similar to when people see ads for the same product constantly. After enough ads they begin to believe the product is the best.


8:19 pm on Jul 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member digitalghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I see some people are tracking traffic for various positions. Anyone tracking conversion rates? The results might suprise you... ;)

Traffic is traffic is traffic. Traffic is easy to get and if you want more traffic you can buy it if you like. But are you studying the traffic you get now? Working to increase your conversion rates? Getting people to sign up for your mailing list or newsletter? Are you giving people a reason to come back to your site? Are you tracking return visitors?


9:29 pm on Jul 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member steveb is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I have one result where I flip from first to second and back again. When first I get more than twice the traffic than when second.

I'm sure the difference between first and second depends a lot on the query, but for the information thing that my search is, being first is likely better than the rest of the top ten put together.


10:49 pm on Jul 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

just because you get the same amount of visitors doesn't mean you are getting the same visitors.

You might get the same amount but they are higher quality.


1:27 am on Jul 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm no too sure I agree that Number 1,2 or 3 are the same. Granted the traffic numbers may not vary much, but I do believe the conversion rate does. Yes it's true that people shop around, but that doesn't mean they do all their shopping around in one session. They may do all their shopping on any given day, then return the next time with cedit card in hand and punch in the same keyword(s) phrase they did the first time (this ensures they see all the places they have already been to). If the price and product are the same for number 1, 2 and 3 it's most likey number 1 that gets the sale. Even when if do 'all their shopping around in one session' they will often go back to the easiest to find, #1.



2:38 am on Jul 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

I usually rank in the top few positions for my most important keyphrases. Lately I've been #1 for my top two keyphrases, and it doesn't seem to have had much impact on traffic.

I have an information site (i.e., an editorial or content site), and when I'm knocked out of the #1 position, it's usually by an obviously commercial site that's selling hotels, tours, or something similar. Since readers who search on those keyphrases are looking for general travel information, they probably just skip past the commercial sites until they find a site that matches what they're searching for--whether it's in the #1, the #3, or the #5 position on the SERP.


6:16 am on Jul 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Good questions, DG.
While I have ranked 1-3 for 2 keyword phrases for about 2 years now, I have dropped off page 1 to #14 for the most important kw. However I have a higher conversion rate from the page 2 serps than from the page 1 serps.


9:48 am on Jul 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I agree with that: as long as you are in the top five of the results, there ist no significant difference. Also from six to ten are good positions. But when you are on the second result page, the number of visits go down a whole step.

I think, that it doesn't matter so much on which position you are, it depends much more on which result page the link appears. As long as you are on the first result page, you get good traffic from Google.


10:48 am on Jul 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Elements that are important for the surfer, in no particular order.

1. The "title" of the site in the serps
2. The Google "Description" snippet given
3. The DMOZ/Google "Description" snippet given
4. The name of the page shown in serps " e.g. whether it is www.widgets.co.uk, or www.notwidgets.co.uk/somethingelse/somethingelse/widgets.co.uk
5. The search result "position".

The actual significance of each of 1-5 will depends upon the surfer and the particular search conducted. The surfer's own algorithm (his mind) will compute which of the search results he actually clicks on, depending upon the above.

I can see scenarios where moving from #1 to #2 has a significant result, and also situations when it is insignificant.

A. moving from #1 to #2 may significantly increase hits, where elements of 1-4 above are similar for both sites. i.e. the surfer likes the title, description, and name of the page for both sites, has nothing else to use to decide which site to click except its position.

B. Moving from #1 to #2 may have no significant impact of hits, where elements 1-4 for both sites are very different. For example, a site in #2 position may have a better title, decsription, and domain name which meets the needs of the vast majoirty of surfers searching using that search term, whilst the one in #1 position has a less meaningful title, description and perhaps a deeplinked page. In this case, the serps position has less relevance to surfer and instead elements 1-4 have greater significance.


11:14 am on Jul 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

>I have a higher conversion rate from the page 2 serps than from the page 1 serps.

That's a good proof that you can't compaire the "traffic by position" and the "conversion by position". The initial question was about traffic. I tend to agree that traffic numbers are not very different within say the top 5 postions but are getting much more different within the top 20 positions.

But even if you get much less visitors for a page two position, the conversion may be much better than a high traffic search #1 position. My best converting page gets the lowest traffic of all pages. It's not the best selling page though. Just the one with the highest conversion rate. My future goal is to bring this page under the top 5 positions, get more visitors, therefor more sales - allthough i'm pretty sure, the conversion will go down compared to the current numbers, the income will (hopefully) go up - it's all relative.


12:16 pm on Jul 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I've noticed that the traffic from my #1 listings convert much better on average than anywhere below, and generate almost 70% more traffic than the #2 listing for the same search in some cases.


11:06 pm on Jul 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

A lot depends on whether the adjacent sites in the serps compete directly with you. If you're not direct competitors, it doesn't matter whether your #1 or #2. What matters most is how quickly you can be found relative to your competitors.

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