Is Google Page One Overrated? The Truth About Organic Search Results

Is Google Page One Overrated? The Truth About Organic Search Results

For many marketers, ranking on page one of Google is the ultimate sign that your piece of content has made it. 

Every SEO strategy ever devised aims to get you there. If you’re lucky enough to land a high ranking, you’ll enjoy a pretty big advantage over competitors when it comes to finding new customers. At least that’s the prevailing belief among modern marketers and SEO specialists.

But — just how valuable is a page-one ranking?

We surveyed more than 1,000 internet users using a representative sampling method to uncover their Google search behavior and find out how far they’d go to find what they’re looking for online.


Answers were predictably varied, but they allowed us to draw some pretty clear SERP statistics and conclusions.


For starters, marketers who say the first page is the only page that matters aren’t exactly wrong.

However, simply making page one might not be good enough — more than 43% of survey respondents said they wouldn’t be very likely to scroll down the page to see additional results. If you’re going to aim high, you might as well aim for the very top.

And if you think page two is good enough, you might want to reconsider this search engine traffic statistic: roughly 56% said they would rather try a different search query or engine than click on the second page of search results. That’s a lot of traffic to miss out on.


And as for clicks? Pages two and three get just 5.59% combined. The percentage of Google traffic by results page decreases drastically with every new page you click on.


So what do these SERP statistics mean for you?

Getting to page one on Google is far from easy. In fact, it requires a huge investment of time, and potentially money (depending on the keyword you want to rank for). 


For instance, let’s say a marketer knows that only the top three results for a particular term attract users. If they’re nowhere near that ranking, then they should put some budget toward paid search or social (if applicable).


Of course, such a big investment of time and money doesn’t make sense for certain keywords, since the value of Google result positioning varies. An easy way to calculate a keyword’s traffic value is to multiply its earnings per click by the number of searches that incorporate it and then multiply that by the click-through rate. Just don’t expect that value to remain constant.


It’s also worth noting that keywords shouldn’t be the main focus of your content strategy. Google’s algorithm is constantly evolving thanks to machine learning. As it does, keywords are becoming less integral to a high ranking.


This makes sense — keywords were useful during the early days of search, but computers have evolved to more effectively interpret human speech. So go ahead and write naturally, incorporating keywords only where it makes sense.


And if you’re wondering why we’re only talking about Google search results statistics, it’s because the search engine has cornered roughly 92% of the total search market.


Does that mean Google search stats are the only ones that matter? No, but we think it’s safe to assume that Google search behavior is representative of broader user behavior.


So let’s talk about how you can capitalize on said behavior by getting to page one.


On the basis of the Google search statistics our data provided (and corroborating stats from around the web), we’d recommend starting your SEO journey with a question: Should I even aim for page one?


To answer this, you’ll need to have a general idea of where you’re starting. If you already have a fairly robust content marketing program, you may not be that far away. But maybe you haven’t heavily invested in content yet. That doesn’t mean you can’t start — just don’t plan on reaching search results stardom overnight.


You should also evaluate the competitiveness of the keyword you want to rank for and be realistic about your chances for success. Depending on how competitive the term is, you might want to focus on other discovery avenues such as voice discovery (and no, we can’t emphasize this enough). 


You might also conduct an eye-tracking study for your term to find out where a user’s gaze typically goes when results appear. It might land on one of the top three results, but it might also drift down the page.


That said, if you’re going to attempt a page-one ranking, you should still aim for the top even if users scroll down (more on that in a moment).


If you want your business to make you more leads and sales by improving your online business and online digital marketing and sales conversions, please contact us NOW or ring us on now on 01242 521967 to see how we can help you to make money as well!