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Several studies describe the average click rate distribution from position 1 to position 10 on the first page of Google results.

Some people claim that web pages with videos are often not displayed at top positions, but that they get a higher click rate anyway in lower positions, thus breaking the distribution model mentioned above.

Is there any truth to this? Does anyone have evidence to support that good content with good video gets better click rates than same content without videos?

  • I know the graphs you mention. Video or not, position 4, 5, and 6 can get higher CTR because of their position on the page. Often the first few SERP links are skipped because they are familiar and highly commercial while SERP links in the middle of the screen tend to grab more attention due to lazy eyes and be less commercial. The graph you mention does not tell the complete story. In fact, I rather suspect the illustrated effect is unrealistic. – closetnoc Sep 11 '15 at 21:54
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With "click rate", I assume your refer to the "click-through rate (CTR)", which is according to the American Marketing Association defined as "the number of users who clicked on a specific Internet advertisment or link" per impression expressed as a percentage.

The "Google Organic Click-Through Rate Study 2014" from Advanced Web Rankings basically states that on average the organic places 1 to 5 in Google's first SERP receive an accumulated CTR of 67.6% and places 6 to 10 only 3.73%, which sums up to a total of 71.33% for the first 10 places. To generalize this observation, there seems to be a clear correlation between SERP position and CTR (the higher the ranking, the higher the CTR):

+----------+--------+--------+-------+-------+-------+---------+----------+-----------+
| Position |   1    |   2    |   3   |   4   |   5   | 6 to 10 | 2nd page | 3rd page+ |
+----------+--------+--------+-------+-------+-------+---------+----------+-----------+
| CTR      | 31.24% | 14.04% | 9.85% | 6.97% | 5.50% | 3.73%   | 3.99%    | 1.60%     |
+----------+--------+--------+-------+-------+-------+---------+----------+-----------+

Now, your question concerns two statements that require verification:

1. "Web pages with videos are often not displayed at top positions"

According to the Forrester study from 2009, videos (if correctly search engine optimized) are 50 times more likely than normal text content to be listed on the first SERP. However, the author of this research commented, that his study is now nearly 6 years old and not accurate any longer. Nevertheless, with the Hummingbird search algorithm in September 2013, Google placed a stronger focus on the meaning behind the words of a search query instead of the isolated, matching keywords. This prioritizes quality content that really answers the underlying question over simple keyword matches on "over-optimized" pages.

So based on the assumption that videos provide an important source of useful information and their presentation is sufficiently optimized on the embedding page (keywords in filenames, titles, descriptions, tags), the first statement is unlikely to be true.

2. "Web pages with videos get higher click rates anyway"

Online marketing agency aimClear claims that "videos in universal search results have a 41% higher click through rate than their plain text counterparts". You can find this statement in various places throughout the internet, however, I was not able to find the original study on the website of the company or anywhere else that would confirm this number, so care should be taken. I am getting the impression here that this "study" was planned as a media campaign to promote the agency and their services rather then a serious piece of research.

But, with a CTR of 1.84%, video ads have the highest CTR of all ad formats, which gives a small indication.


Based on the quoted sources, there is vague evidence that "good web pages including good video get better SERP click rates". However, it would be interesting to validate this assumption with a real study and relevant data set, which to my knowledge, does not exist to date.

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