How Low Can #1 Go? (2020 Edition)

Being #1 on Google isn’t what it used to be. In 2013, we investigated 10,000 searches and discovered that the normal #1 positioning started at 375 pixels (px) down the page. The most dire outcome imaginable, a search for “Disney stock,” pushed #1 right down to 976px.

A great deal has changed in seven years, including a blast of rich SERP (Search Engine Results Page) features, as Featured Snippets, nearby packs, and video merry go rounds. It feels like the situation of #1 is just deteriorating. Thus, we chose to run the numbers once more (over similar searches) and check whether the information coordinates our observations. Is the #1 posting on Google being pushed much farther down the page?

I attempt to let the numbers represent themselves, however before we dive into a ton of details, here’s one that genuinely stunned me. In 2020, more than 1,600 (16.6%) of the searches we broke down had #1 positions that were more awful than the most dire outcome imaginable in 2013. How about we dive into a couple of these …

What’s the most pessimistic scenario for #1?

Information is incredible, however now and then it takes the visuals to truly comprehend what’s happening. Here’s our large “champ” for 2020, a search for “candy” — the #1 positioning came in at an inconceivable 2,938px down. I’ve commented on the #1 position, alongside the 1,000px and 2,000px imprints …

At 2,938px, the 2020 champ comes in at a little more than multiple times 2013’s most dire outcome imaginable. You may have seen that the line is marginally over the organic connection. For consistency and to have the option to repeat the information later, we decided to utilize the HTML/CSS holder position. This hits somewhere between the organic connection and the URL breadcrumbs (which as of late moved over the connection). This is a marginally more preservationist measure than our 2013 investigation.

You may likewise have seen that this result contains a huge arrangement video result, which truly commands page-one land. Truth be told, five of our best 10 most reduced #1 results in 2020 contained huge organization recordings. Here’s the top contender without a huge organization video, coming in at fourth spot by and large (a search for “vacuum cleaners”) …

Before the conventional #1 organic position, we have shopping results, a research merry go round, a nearby pack, People Also Ask results, and a top items merry go round with a gigantic vertical impression. This is a persistently business result. While just a bit of it is immediate promoting, the majority of the focal point of the page over the organic results is on individuals hoping to purchase a vacuum.

Shouldn’t something be said about the master plan?

It’s simple — and all around engaging — to carefully choose the most pessimistic scenario situations, so how about we take a gander at the information over every one of the 10,000 results. In 2013, we just took a gander at the #1 position, yet we’ve extended our investigation in 2020 to consider all page-one organic positions. Here’s the breakdown …

The main direct correlation with 2013 is the position #1 column, and you can see that each measurement expanded, some considerably. On the off chance that you take a gander at the most extreme Y-position by rank, you’ll notice that it tops around #7 and afterward starts to diminish. This is simpler to show in a graph …


To comprehend this wonder, you need to understand that certain SERP features, similar to Top Stories and video merry go rounds, replace a page-one organic result. Simultaneously, those features will in general be longer (vertically) than a commonplace organic result. In this way, a page with 10 customary organic results will by and large be shorter than a page with different rich SERP features.


What’s the most pessimistic scenario in general?

How about we delve into that seven-result page-one can and take a gander at the very least case organic position over the entirety of the SERPs in the examination, a #7 organic positioning coming in at 4,487px …

Congrats, you’re at last done looking over. This SERP has seven conventional organic positions (counting one with FAQ joins), in addition to an inconceivable seven rich features and an entire seven ads (three are underneath the conclusive outcome). Note that this page shows the more established promotion and organic structure, which Google is as yet testing, so the position is estimated as simply over the connection.

What amount do ads make a difference?

Since our 2013 examination (in mid 2016), Google evacuated right-hand section ads on work area and expanded the greatest number of upper left ads from three to four. One remarkable point about ads is that they have prime situation over both organic results and SERP features. Anyway, how does this effect organic Y-positions? Here’s a breakdown …


Of course, the mean and middle increment as promotion check increments – by and large, the more ads there are, the lower the #1 organic position is. So for what reason does the most extreme Y-position of #1 decline with advertisement check? This is on the grounds that SERP features are tied near search aim, and results with more ads will in general be increasingly business. This normally precludes different features.

For instance, while 1,270 SERPs on February 12 in our 10,000-SERP informational index had four ads on top, and 1,584 had featured bits, just 16 had both (quite recently 1% of SERPs with featured bits). Featured scraps normally reflect educational aim (at the end of the day, they give answers), though the nearness of four ads signals solid business expectation.

Here’s the most pessimistic scenario #1 position for a SERP with four ads on top in our informational collection …

The school results are a genuinely uncommon component, and neighborhood packs regularly show up on business results (as any individual who needs to purchase something is searching for a spot to get it). Indeed, even with four ads, however, this result comes in altogether higher than our general most pessimistic scenario #1 position. While ads unquestionably push down organic results, they likewise will in general block other rich SERP features.

Shouldn’t something be said about featured scraps?

In mid 2014, a year after our unique investigation, Google propelled featured pieces, advanced results that join organic connections with answers extricated from featured pages. For instance, Google can disclose to you that I am both a human who works….

While featured bits are in fact thought about organic, they can affect navigate rates (CTR) and the extricated text normally pushes down the organic connection. Then again, Featured Snippets will in general show up above other rich SERP features (aside from ads, obviously). All in all, what’s the most dire outcome imaginable for a #1 result inside a featured bit in our informational index?

Ads are as yet pushing this result down, and the projectile rundown separated from the page takes up a decent measure of room, however the nonattendance of other SERP features over the featured piece places this in a greatly improved position than our general most dire outcome imaginable. This is a fascinating model, as the “As per …” text is connected to Mashable (yet not considered the #1 result), however the pictures are completely connected to more Google searches.

By and large in our investigation, the normal Y-position of #1 results with featured scraps was 99px lower/more awful (704px) than conventional #1 results (605px), proposing a net disservice as a rule. Now and again, various SERP features can show up between the featured bit and the #2 organic result. Here’s a model where the #1 and #2 result are 1,342px separated …

In cases this way, it’s a vital bit of leeway to work for the featured bit, as there’s conceivable a considerable drop-off in clicks from #1 to #2. Featured bits are going to proceed to develop, and models like this show that it is so basic to comprehend the whole scene of your search results.

When is #2 not justified, despite any potential benefits?

Another intriguing case that is advanced a considerable amount since 2013 is brand searches, or as Google is bound to call them, “predominant goal” searches. Here’s a SERP for the organization Mattress Firm …

While the #1 result has strong arrangement, the #2 result is pushed right down to 2,848px. Note that the #1 position has a search box in addition to six full site-connects underneath it, taking up an enormous measure of land. Indeed, even the brand’s promotion has site-joins. Beneath #1 is a neighborhood pack, People Also Ask results, Twitter results from the brand’s record, vigorously marked picture results, and afterward an item refinement merry go round (which leads to more Google searches).

There are just five aggregate, customary organic results on this page, and they’re comprised of the organization’s site, the organization’s Facebook page, the organization’s YouTube channel, a Wikipedia page about the organization, and a news story about the organization’s 2018 chapter 11 recording.

This isn’t just about vertical position — except if you’re Mattress Firm, attempting to contend on this search truly doesn’t bode well. They basically own page one, and this is a circumstance we’re seeing increasingly more every now and again for searches with clear predominant goal (for example most searchers are searching for a particular element).

What’s a search advertiser to do?

Search is changing, and change can positively be startling. Doubtlessly that the SERP of 2020 is altogether different here and there than the SERP of 2013, and customary organic results are only one bit of an a lot bigger picture. All things considered, as search advertisers, we need to adjust — either that, or locate another vocation. I hear alpaca cultivating is pleasant.

I think there are three basic things to recall. To start with, the a lot of search traffic despite everything originates from customary organic results. Second, numerous rich features are actually the advancement of vertical results, similar to news, recordings, and pictures, that despite everything have an organic part. As such, these are results that we can conceivably make content for and rank in, regardless of whether they’re not the ten blue connections we customarily consider as organic search.

At long last, it’s critical to understand that numerous SERP features are driven via searcher aim and we have to target aim all the more deliberately. Take the marked model above — it might be discouraging that the #2 organic result is pushed down up until now, yet ask yourself a basic inquiry. What’s the benefit of positioning for “sleeping pad firm” in case you’re not Mattress Firm? Regardless of whether you’re an immediate contender, you’re going against searchers with an exceptionally clear brand aim. Your exertion is better spent on item searches, customer questions, and different searches prone to help your own image and deals.

In case you’re the eleventh individual in line at the basic food item checkout and the line close to you has no individuals, do you remain around griping about how individual #2, #7, and #9 aren’t as meriting goods as you seem to be? No, you change lines. In case you’re being driven excessively far down the results, possibly it’s an ideal opportunity to search out various results where your objectives and searcher objectives are better adjusted.

Brief notes on strategy

Not to get excessively somewhere down in the weeds, however several notes on our approach. The entirety of the information in this investigation depends on page-one,, US, work area results. While the watchwords in this informational index are dispersed over a wide scope of subjects and ventures, the set slants toward progressively serious “head” terms. The entirety of the information and pictures in this post were caught on February 12, 2020. Incidentally, this blog entry is more than 26,000 pixels in length. In case you’re despite everything perusing, thank you, and may God show benevolence toward your spirit.

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