If brand searches are important, the next question is how many clicks do brands get on brand searches? Well, the answer seems to be based on how you account for it and who is doing the counting. 

One way to look at click through data is to say that:

  • one page view of a Google search result
  • a click to a site

will give you a click through rate.

The other is to look at this as a series of actions around a search result. So you could do a brand search and then:

  • click on a result, look around the site
  • then jump out
  • click on another result, look around the site
  • then jump out
  • click on a final result and look around
  • and then do another search for another phrase.

This may explain why the results below are so different, however I like to think they are both right, just differently accounted for.

This graph assumes the ‘hop in hop out model’, where the data is taken from 14,000 webmaster tools queries. (full analysis here)

Brand CTR

This graph assumes the single page impression and click through model. (full analysis here)

The upshot is that depending on who you believe and what accounting system you prefer, everything but brand either gets a massive proportion of CTR’s or hardly any.

Since we rely on CTR rates to to weight various analysis models we use, we have to use the ‘one search page impression, one click’ model, however I prefer the ‘jump in jump out’ model as a more normal mode of user behavior.

By the way as an aside, if you think paid search accounts for a huge percentage of overall click…not true.

Overall PPC CTR is very low
Overall PPC CTR is very low

This is based on research from group M (More info here)

The upshot is that CTR on brand is still out for debate, although I do like the idea of the ‘hop in hop out’ model because in reality that’s how I and others I know work when searching. Therefore it demonstrates the importance of getting your brand search results in order.


Nick Garner

Nick Garner

Nick is founder of 90 Digital. Previously he was head of search at Unibet and prior to that search manager Betfair.

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