Importance of Position 1 in Google’s Rankings

As the infographic below shows, the importance of page ranking with regard to achieved share of traffic cannot be overstated, especially looking at the value of ‘position 1’ compared to ‘position 2’. When it comes to Google rankings, number one position is unequivocally the place to be.
The data, which comes from the latest (2013) data from Chitika shows that achieving first place in the Google rankings race will result in nearly 33% of traffic, more than double second place. As you go down the list you can see that the difference between places becomes significantly less impactful. A graph, from Chitika helps to show this more effectively.
traffic from position on Google
This really does shine a very strong light on just how much of a difference achieving position 1 can have on the performance of a website. Of course, what these infographics don’t reflect is that all of these pages/sites will be on the first page of Google’s search results. The effect of slipping off that first page is arguable even more important and devastating than losing 1st place in the page rankings. The website in ‘position 10’, the last site on page one of Google’s results will receive a staggering 143% more visits than the first site on page 2! The below graph demonstrates this with shocking clarity.
This all highlights the vital role that SEO still plays in website management and just how important it is to get a good handle on Google’s constantly updating algorithms that determine ranking results.
Despite the many complications and observations around the main topic here, the fact remains that if you want your site to dominate the competition, then there are fewer ways more effective than gaining pole position in Google’s rankings. Of course, the reason behind wanting to be the top of the Google pops is that on an almost exponentially increasing basis people make their informed decisions over which item or service to buy after browsing online. Research shows that we are now at the stage where 93% of all buying decisions begin with an online search.
The sad truth, of course, is that achieving first position (which everyone is aiming for) is only going to be a reality for very few businesses in their given fields over the life time of their company. However, the news is not all doom and gloom as a recent study, run parallel to the Chitika one, by Slingshot SEO, illustrates that while first position is still obviously the Mecca of ranking positions, the 2nd and 3rd placed results are receiving increasingly more attention. The gap, they found, between first, second and third place is shrinking compared to previous studies. This gives heart to those who are working hard to improve rankings in an ultra-competitive field, where achieving pole position is, at best, a pipe dream. If the gap continues to narrow, then it will make the headline of a company’s website even more crucial and the quality of the homepage of even graver import.