View Full Version : Scary or not?
03-03-2009, 09:07 AM
I have just come across this study which basically says that the top 3 organic positions get 70% of the clicks.
- does that mean that unless an SEO company can get your keywords to at least 3rd position then it's not worth engaging them since the CTR below 3rdposition is rather low?
- has anybody seen this study discussed anywhere?
- has anybody seen a newer study?
- do you think the conclusions still apply today?
That's all for now.
03-03-2009, 09:19 AM
I would not try to extract too much out of it. Getting the traffic is one thing, but you have to retain it and get visitors to do something meaningful in the end.
Recent study on SEM positions showed the same results but also showed that lower positions tend to have higher conversion rates.
03-03-2009, 09:28 AM
thank you for your comment.
However, if you don't get the traffic you can't retain it.
Do you have a link to the SEM positions you mentioned?
03-03-2009, 10:56 AM
also will vary depending on the message in he title and description
03-06-2009, 09:56 PM
Yes Aussiewebmaster it will vary depending on quality of title and abstract which they call Quality Bias.
Given the conclusions why would anybody use SEO if they can't get their KWs in the top 5 at least? Anything below gets hardly anu CTR.
03-15-2009, 11:21 PM
First of all, this study comes from Cornell. In my experience, the studies from universities have been very shoddy. The data collection methodology is not true. If you read the study, it says they collected data from Cornell undergraduates. Not 1,000, not 100, but 29. 34 were selected but they could only collect data from 29. 29 undergraduates aged 18 to 23 years. That was Phase 1 of the study.
Phase 2 of the study again used undergrads. This time 22 subjects.
They used eye-tracking (woo. wee.) for the test and oh - get this - the subjects were given extra credit for their communications course.
So in total, the true data this study collected was from 51 subjects, all undergraduate students.
Now IF you were targeting college students aged 18 to 23, this study MIGHT be relevant to you.
However, for me, with my target markets for my clients, this study is total complete BS.
A test sample of 51 18 to 23 year old college kids do not represent a statistical relevance to me. It represents an anomaly but one that warrants further testing with a much LARGER and diverse subject.
So while this study is interesting, the wise SEO would mark it, file it away, and not lose sleep over it. After all, if you are getting paying customers from your organic rankings, does it matter?
03-16-2009, 05:59 AM
Cryptblade you funny, but I agree. Also I can add, based on analytics from running many real sites that do all their biz online - even when your main kws are 1-2-3 you will still often see that majority of traffic, leads,sales comes from kws that are not the main ones or the best ranked ones. My point is that good SEO will cause a lot of well rounded qualified traffic to occur and not just focus on kws 1-2-3. A few 1-2-3 ranks is cool but hundreds or thousand 4-10 is also worthwhile result of proper SEO.
03-20-2009, 11:36 PM
To add to John's reply, real life information is far more valuable than academic information. This is why we have this phrase "this is all academic" meaning it's BS and theoretical.
Real SEOs start by examining client analytics (if they have them), KWs and search behavior. The really good SEOs also use marketing insight and experience to help diagnose and build an SEO strategy.
As John noted, the bottomline for most websites is qualified traffic. And that often does not come from rankings for "top" keywords. Instead that traffic often comes from a horizontal collection of several keywords that drive targeted traffic.
Now knowing this - with the SEO Marketer insight, here's the real life relevance and extrapolation you can take with that Cornell academic study: don't focus on your "top" keywords for rankings and don't focus on rankings. In other words, don't be vertical in your SEO - be horizontal and look for opportunities.