Not long ago Google released an interesting tool called Browser Size. It lets you see how the visitors' browser sizes affect their experience of your site. Particularly, it shows you how much of your site fits in people's browsers.
As SEOs we couldn't pass up the opportunity to use Browser Size on Google results pages to see how many listings people get to see above the fold depending on their browser size. The shocking truth is about 50% of searchers don't see your site above the fold if you rank below top five. Full results of the test are below but first
A Few Words About Browser Size
Browser Size is a nifty tool that helps analyze your webpage layout. It's dead easy to use: you simply feed your webpage URL and get a visual picture of your site as seen by people with different browser sizes.
Your webpage is divided into areas that fit into various browser sizes. The percents indicate how many people see each part of your site above the fold. The picture reads like this: the part of your site that fits into the 99% area is seen above the fold by 99% of users (1% don't see this part), only 95% of people see as far as the 95% section mark up goes (5% don't see this) and so on.
The insight you gain from browser size can help you analyze your site to better understand the visitors' behavior, put the most important elements on your site above the fold and increase the conversion rate.
Ever wondered why 70% of people never click your download link? Well maybe they just don't see it and don't bother to scroll. Check your site with Google Browser Size and find out how most people see it in their browsers.
Applying Browser Size to Search Engine Results Pages
As SEOs we couldn't pass up the opportunity to use Browser Size on Google results pages to see how many listings people get to see above the fold depending on their browser size. The tool bases its data on browser sizes of Google users which makes it perfect for this experiment.
The organic results are often pushed down by AdWords ads when they appear in top position. So we analyzed 4 different scenarios: search results with no AdWords ads above, 1 ad above, 2 ads and 3 ads above the natural results.
Here are the results.
The diagram reads as follows: the first two results are seen above the fold by 99% of searchers, the fifth ranking appears above the fold for 80% of users (20% have to scroll to see it)… the website in the 7th position appears above the fold for only 30% and so on.
In my browser I can pretty much see 8 positions of Google results. But it turns out that only 50% of searchers see below the 5th listing.
One AdWords Ad Above
In cases when the keyword triggers one AdWords ad to appear in top position the fifth ranking is pushed below the fold for 40% of users.
Two AdWords Ads Above
Whenever there are 2 AdWords ads on top ranking #5 will only get your website above the fold for around 40% of users (60% will have to scroll).
Three Google Ads Above
Three AdWords ads in top position for your keyword are an SEO's nightmare. Unless you're in top 3, your site will only appear above the fold for half of users.
The results suggest that you need to rank at least in top 5 for your site to appear above the fold for most searchers. And if there are AdWords ads on top of the results page (which are plenty for most "selling" keywords) the task gets tougher. If you rank #5 and there's just one AdWords ad on top, your site goes below the fold for around 40% of searchers. We know that few people click to the second results page. I wonder how many scroll down the first one?
This data can be very helpful on early stages of keyword research. When you estimate the search volume of a keyword and evaluate the competition it's a good idea to check how many AdWords ad appear for it in top position (use proxy to get the accurate picture of the search landscape in your target region). That will help you estimate where you need to rank to put your website above the fold and get most clicks.
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