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Change in Google Ranking vs Change in Traffic

Any figures / guess's



10:23 am on Sep 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I'm interested to know if anybody has any figures for expected traffic, depending on google ranking. I know this will depend on the popularity of the search term but a percentage of the overall traffic Vs position chart would be well handy.

my (very uneducated) Guess

Position 1 = 29 %
Position 2 = 18 %
position 3 = 13 %
position 4 = 5 %
Positions 4-10 = 15 %
positions 10-20 = 10 %
positions 30-40 = 5 %
positions 40 + = 5 %

I'm optimising a lot of sites and I'm trying to decide when enough is enough, have a new micro-site with position number 5 for its keyword, I could probably get that into the top three but is it worth the Time? A much more detailed (and accurate) version of the above chart would help me make my time management decisions.

let me know what you lot make of my estimates.


10:33 am on Sep 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I am pretty sure the top 3 lisings get pretty much all the traffic.


10:37 am on Sep 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Not sure i agree with that....could be in certain areas but it depends on what the searcher is looking for.

Do they find the information they need straight away or do they want to compare costs with a few other companys.

I know that in my field most of the people will probably go down to the 3rd 4th pages to compare prices to see if they can save that extra 1.


11:06 am on Sep 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I get dozens of hits every day for placement above 200. I think there are two types of "searchers".

1) (My Type) Search, look at the first page, if the info isn't there, refine.

2) Search, look through the results until you get what you're looking for.

I have no idea how this breaks down in percentages, but I find that most people have no idea how to search for something. A word like "new" is a common search term, yet is probably the most useless term out there (Hell, it WAS "new" when I published it back in 1998).

Spelling is another problem. I was getting about 4 hits a week for a person in my database and was wondering why I wasn't getting more. Her name is rather unique, and is spelled similarly to a more common name, so last month, I put a line on the page that says, "X's name is commonly thought to be Y, but it's not." Boom - now I'm getting a dozen or so hits a day for that page from Google. From 4 to 84 hits a week is a massive increase, especially since most people don't know who she is and won't until sometime next summer.

The reason I bring these things up is that I believe that any figures you're looking for need to figure in the overall percentage of surfers who don't search properly. Those folks seem much more likely to hit page 2 (or page 8) of the SERPS than someone who knows how to do it.

One thing I really like about my MSN hit logs is that you can see what they searched for BEFORE they entered the search to find your page. You'd think that you'd see a "refinement" of the original search, and in about 15-20% of the cases that's true, but for the rest, the term in the "orig=" field is completely unrelated. It's as if folks say, "Well, I can't find the details of the Hundred Years War for my thesis, might as well look for Pam Anderson in a bikini, instead."



11:12 am on Sep 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

Are you selling something that easily matches a few common keywords?

Are you providing information? Offering a service?

If I am buying a pocket knife, I'm sure that I could find one that I want within the top couple of results. Trying to find parts for my beat up old pickup truck I might not follow any links for the first 3 pages, then find 4 in one page.

When searching for certain programming solutions I might spend hours following half the results in the first 20 pages.

In other words, if your numbers seem right to you, then stick with them. No one elses numbers would be right. I would keep working on it till I thought my time would be better spent elsewhere, no matter what the numbers said.


11:22 am on Sep 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

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

I was #1 for a search phrase for a year, from which I got 25 to 45 visitors a day. I went to #3 on that term, and now get two to four visitors a day from that phrase. (LOL, just checked, everfluxed down to #4 right now.) This huge drop occurs despite the two sites above me not being relevant to the search term beyond their titles.

I don't know how much to conclude from this one example, but it makes me believe being #1 is a LOT better than #3.


11:23 am on Sep 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Not bothered about sales, its mainly a marketing site.

I see what you mean about depends on how specific the item is being searched for.

I was thinking of a search that produced very relavent results throughout the top dozens, if not hundreds of returns - for example "james bond" (not a search time associated with any site of mine)
say I was 7th for James Bond I would be intrested to know what increase a jump into say 3rd would provide me.

I would have thought about 90% if not more would be in the top 20 but Grampus says he get hits on 200+ placements. Are these ultra specific searches or just general?

45 down to 5! Now that is alot more of a drop than I would have anticipated, food for thought, maybe chasing the holly grail of number 1 is worth it, I have always settled for 3rd quite happily.


11:45 am on Sep 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

The other big question is how much work do you have to put in to make it to #1 from #3? And how happy are you with the results you are getting at #3?

In some cases you might even be better off with the 5 visits a day from the people who were interested enough to dig deeper than #1, rather than the 50 who only go to the #1 site.

Is it a competitors marketing site that is higher than yours, or is it another type of site that is also relevant?


11:46 am on Sep 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

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


If you spend 5 dollars, or whatever the minumum is with Google's PPC adword select program, you can advertise for the keywords you wish to check for the positions you have now. Do the same one Google indexing later (assuming you altered ranking positions) and you will be able to get indications of:

1. total impressions
2. clicks on your add (not interesting for what you are after ;))

compare total impressions with your website stats for those keywords.
(be careful to define the keywords or keyphrases correctly)

You will find that even with a number one ranking, in some cases only 20% could actually click on your site. (This is of course due to your own self checking your rankings every day without clicking:))

Added, you will have to advertise world-wide for every language and for competitive searches this will be more expensive to get any representative data.


11:53 am on Sep 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

I agree, depends on what people are searching for. For example, some sort of business opportunity listing, people are more than likely going to search their way down a few listings pages, just to see what things are out there.


1:02 pm on Sep 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have noticed a strange trend lately. We have done better being in the 11th position for our keyword phrase (position - top of page #2), than we did at the 10th position (bottom of page one). I think this has to do with the mind set of a searcher..."ahh new page, new results.." I agree with Grumpus, it all has to do with the type of searcher. I think a good point was made, there are those that will keep filtering through the pages until they find exactly what it is that they are looking for; and likewise, the impatient searcher that only sees the top 3 results.


1:02 pm on Sep 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I read a post a while ago where a site got MORE hits being #7 than being in the top 3. This person's own analysis of that was that maybe some people in some cases disregard the top results because they think those sites have paid for placement.
On the other hand, I have experienced far more hits being #3 on one of our most important phrases rather than being #8 or 9. (travel site)
So maybe it depends on what the searcher is looking for, whether a product, some kind of service or whatever.


2:05 pm on Sep 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

The percentages change drastically depending on what you are searching for. If for example it's an answer to a relatively simple question or query then I would take the first result that features the question or answer in the title.

If I was really trying to research something, especially if the search would result in spending some money (on or offline) then I would initially look for the most appropriate title, but also have a good read of the description.

IMO surfers are becoming wiser when finding relevant information is involved. Hence this is the fundamental reason Google is so popular, it works in the same way as a person. (But the other way round).

Having said that of course there's always a limited amount of SERPS you're willing to search through before either refining your search or giving up.


7:40 pm on Sep 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I think people look at the description displayed by Google. They're aware of the fact that part of the results are irrelevant, so they only click on those URLs that seem relevant-either #1 or#10.



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