Google, is position 11 more effective than 10?


polr bearsI’ve been thinking over this blog post for almost a year now (there’s been a lot on, hence the lack of actually writing it). I’ve been thinking about my own browsing style and wondering if I am an oddity in how I surf or whether I follow a trend.

The style I’m talking about refers to clickthroughs and how I always tend to scan page one to two and the top 1 to 4 results of each page whilst ignoring the lower results. I tend to only scan the results in 9 to 10only while pressing ‘next’ and if I see anything interesting I will possibly go back…maybe not…

So, I got thinking, was it a stronger position to be number 11 than number 10?

While there is a small amount of information available already on the web it varies greatly in results with some results concluding that 11 is superior to 10 and others showing a huge drop from 10 to 11. Either way, it’s always fun to check these for ourselves. I am in no way saying that a low position is good I just got curious over our own SEO results and what information they would give up.

I looked back over our clients results over the last few months and found a few search terms that have been dancing between position 9 and 13.

My findings would seem to indicate (although I appreciate they are from a limited selection of results) that position 11 turned out to drive more than three times more traffic than the lowest traffic driving result which happened to be position 9 and almost twice as much as position 7.

If you think about the classic Google triangle heatmap, our results that showed position 7 to be the second most effective position of our analysed which appears to go against the trends of the browser behaviour as indicated by the Google triangle. Could this be due to more sophisticated browser trends than when the Google triangle was first published (4 years ago now)? Or is it just a fluke result?

I guess it’s something I need to monitor for a little longer but it was fun to see what our initial results indicated.

What about you and your website? Are your results in anyway similar or a complete contradiction?

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    • gavin francis
    • 6th January 2009

    I think searchings a pretty particular thing. I always pick one or two from the top five then move on the bottom of the page. SEO’s put a lot of time into thinking about how google works but they should maybe devote some time to how people work also.

    • Thanks for your comment Gavin, I am curious to hear how other people search so it’s nice to hear your view. I heard recently of one guy who tends to skip the first few pages on purpose to get to the ‘more than likely non-seo’d content’. He’s pretty experienced in IT and having observed less experienced people trawling religiously through each result one-by-one I would guess at his approach being more unique! We do put a lot of time (and adjusting) into websites to consider how users use a website but I would like to research more into clickthroughs – I really couldn’t find much when I was looking but then, maybe I need to tone up my searching skills! 😉