Higher Ranking Websites Have Lower Ads Click-Through Rate

I came across with a very interesting study from Chitika that examined the connection between websites position on the first search results page and the click-through rate of ads within the websites. The study has found that the lower a website is ranking on the first page, it has a higher click-through rate of ads… Surprising?

The study examined websites with ads as their main source of income, here are its findings:

Click-Through Rate By Page Position

You can see that the trend is very clear- Lower position has higher ads CTR. If we compare the first and last positions we will see that the last position has almost more than double ads CTR: The first has almost 0.4% ads CTR and the last has almost 0.9% ads CTR.

The Reasons

1.  Higher ranking websites will gain more credibility and trust from people- Users will browse more within the site and pay less attention to ads.

2.  Lower ranking websites will gain less credibility and trust from people- Users will browse less within the site and pay more attention to ads.

The Worth (Click) Index

It doesn’t mean that it is more worthwhile to rank at lower places, Remember that there is a traffic factor to be considered as well! For this exact issue Chitika created the “Click Index”, however i prefer calling it the “Worth Index”.

The index is combining the ads CTR metric with the search results page traffic distribution. You can see that higher rankings still worth more in the top 7 positions, while the 8-10 positions are pretty much worth the same.


The Click/Worth Index

Final Thought

While the ads CTR is going down as going up in rankings, it is important to vary the sources of income and not relying only on ads, to reach for the full profits potential.