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What are the average click through rates on search engines?

Brief methodology

I built a database of 14,507 queries, their CTRs, and average positions. Data was gathered from Google Webmaster Tools from different types of websites (including e-commerce, institution website, company website and classifieds websites). The collected database includes various queries, which gives some broader perspective.

Each query was analyzed and marked as brand if it contained the domain name. Queries were checked and marked as “Product queries” if they contained product names. If the query was neither brand nor product, it was marked as “General.”

You can find expanded methodology at the bottom of the post.

As you can see on the graph above, top1 is most popular (52%) for all the queries (nothing new). More importantly, the total of average CTRs for top 10 queries amounts to 208%. This means that users click more than twice on the first result page. It is obvious that top 5 queries bring huge traffic to the website, but users often go deeper in Google results, and visibility of a website on further positions might also be profitable.

Long tail queries

Below you can see the average CTRs for long tail queries, containing 3, 4, and 5 words.

During my analysis, I also gathered the average CTR data for further result pages (positions 11-20, 21-30 and 31-40). We must remember that Google Webmaster Tools provide data for further positions, but denominator used for the CTR calculation is different for result page number 1, 2, 3, and so on. This occurs because it is based on the number of page views, not the number of searches. CTR on further result pages might be also distorted by the universal search, leading me to believe that data for further result pages might be less accurate than for the first one.

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