There have been many click through rate (CTR) studies done over the years. Here is a compilation of all the data from a new Advance Web Ranking CTR study released this October. Credit Advance Web Ranking
The author emphasizes the fact that all the various CTR studies shown in the graph have very different methodologies and definitions of click through rate so this is tantamount to comparing apples to oranges. There is, however, value in looking at the data set as a whole in that it illustrates the top spot gets the highest number of clicks and the rate drops significantly when you get below the top five. But this only touches the surface of the issue.
Advance Web Ranking conducted their study for several reasons. Google SERPs have gone through significant changes since many of these studies were conducted. And, previous CTR studies don’t take into account how different conditions change the CTR. For example, how important is the top spot for a mobile vs. desktop user? Does user intent impact CTR? How about branded keywords? This study looks at many of these questions and more.
CTR is very fluid and changes for many reasons including seasonality and continued SERP changes. Consequently, the authors stated, “This is why we decided to transform the initial study into a free tool that anyone can use to segment the data and watch how the CTR changes in time.”
Mobile is a huge topic in SEO these days. Let’s look to see what the study shows about how CTR for searches coming from mobile devices compare to desktop searches. See chart below.
Quite unexpectedly, the CTR for mobile is slightly lower for the top spot and mobile searches actually rise when you get to the second and third page. This is counter to what you might expect. Could this mean people are more willing to scroll in a mobile environment? Keep in mind, that even in mobile the top spots still garner the majority of the clicks.