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Estimating Google Organic Traffic from a page 1 ranking

8:22 pm on Jun 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Suppose that we need to have truest estimation of the organic traffic to a website on a specific keyword from Google organic search results (SEO).

What percantage does the 1st website (Rank-1) gets a traffic from a keyword search? Suppose that the monthly average volume is 300.000 visits for that keyword and our site is on the first row. What would be the truest estimation for its traffic from this keyword?

I have a guess to make a stable calculation system. 1st website gets minimum %50 of the monthly volume. Second one %30 and 3rd one %20 of the monthly search volume...?

What do you think? I want to learn your suggestions, estimations, experiences...


8:37 pm on June 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I'd say it depends on the niche and the quality of the sites.
If the niche is something where users will want to compare offers, the difference between the first and the following spots won't be that big.
If it's informational and the first site is bad, the next one won't be that far behind, because users will continue until they're satisfied.

I don't really have any hard data, because I don't know any real trusted figures for the monthly volume of the keywords the sites I'm working on are ranking.

8:48 pm on June 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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There was a large amount of data leaked from AOL (a Google Search partner) several years ago - and that's the only hard data I know of. As Jan Harders explained quite well, there's going to be a large variation by type of search and market niche. Even more, today's SERP is often decorated with Universal Search items - and that makes a huge difference.

Still, if you can get a solid traffic number for postion #1, then the AOL data set showed these proportions for clickthroughs, over 2 million widely-varied searches.

#1 - some value
#2 - 3.5x less than #1
#3 - 1.4x less than #2
#4 - 1.4x less than #3
#5 - 1.2x less than #4
#6 = 1.2x less than #5
#7 = 1.2x less than #6
#8 = 1.1x less than #7
#9 = 1.05x less than #8
#10 = 1.05x MORE than #9

The trick is getting accurate data for position #1

7:09 am on June 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

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From this discussion...

First page of search results!
Do people always click on the first result?

...here's the AOL data in another form, describing behaviors broken down by percentage of clicks for each position, etc....

...46.38% of searchers did not click on ANY result.

48.16% clicked on some result on the first page.
The remaining 5.46% clicked a link on page 2 or higher.

The 1st page clicks were split up as follows:
22.73%...1st position

Interesting that 10th is better than 9th, but not too surprising.

Presence of ads and Universal results, wording of titles and descriptions, and the query itself would all affect click-throughs.

I've also seen theoretical discussions that assume that Zipf's Law [en.wikipedia.org] would apply.

2:46 pm on June 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

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In Google the AdWords results may account for a sizeable percentage of the clicks.

It's only one example (the only one I have), but the company I used to work for managed an AdWords account and maintained first place a particular client's key term. We also had first place organic for the same term. I once assessed clicks over 6 months.

Based on the impression data from AdWords, both first places got between 70 and 80% of the clicks between them. I'm afraid that I can't remember exactly how this split between organic/paid, but I believe it was along the lines of a 60/40 split.

I stress this is only one term in one niche.

9:02 pm on June 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

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it all depends on the quality of the top ranked websites. If website #1 offers little quality, user will almost immediately hit back and try the next result and so on
9:15 pm on June 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I spent some time studying this with regards to first position with Sitelinks and other positions in the top 10

Here are some figures from 2 of my sites that appear both appear in top 10 results

Site 1

Keyword A Position 1 with Sitelinks (38,177 visitors)
Keyword B Position 1 with Sitelinks (11,101 visitors)
Keyword C Position 4 (5,411 visitors)
Keyword D Position 1 with Sitelinks (3,299 visitors)

Site 2

Keyword A Position 4 (3,620 visitors)
Keyword B Position 9 (970 visitors)
Keyword C Position 1 with Sitelinks (13,144 visitors)
Keyword D Position 6 (344 visitors)

12:07 am on June 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

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In some verticals the results ae greatly effected by Google's insertions of maps , directory listings , reviews , news items etc etc. Not only this , but the application of those items into the SERP's is often inconsistant across keyword variances.

In fact sometime those insertions can be placed in the middle of the results , effecting where the user's eye will settle on a page.

In old style advertising [ print ] and SERP positioning the trick was to place ads in a dominant place. Now that emphasis is shifting all over the place - a publishers dream, since value is hard to attribute.

Whilst in a pure form the above stats hold true , perhaps , the reality is that it's impossible to estimate where this is happening.

8:58 am on June 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

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1: Type the keyword phrase into the google keyword tool - make sure the phrase match is set to 'exact' - and location is set to 'worldwide', not just US searches.

2: See the AVERAGE number of searches per month on that phrase.

From my experience, a #1 position on google for that phrase will usually bring in somewhere from 10% to 50% of that number each month.

In rare cases you might get 60-70% of that number.

The wide variation is due to the fact that the number of searches shown by the keyword tool is only an approximation.

I find it can overestimate how popular a keyword phrase is quite badly at times - in those cases you will be getting the 10% figure - or even slightly less.

If the tool gets the estimation right, a #1 position would bring in about 30-50% of the total searches, depending on how good your site looks.

People are much more likely to click on KeywordPhrase.com than My-Spammy-Website.biz


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