1: Google created zero-sum marketing It’s all about #1. A 2006 Cornell eye-tracking and click-tracking study [pdf] found that the #1 ranking in a search result received 50% of all clicks. A later study by SlingShotSEO [reg required] showed 25%. Either way, a #1 ranking means you get a lot of clicks, and that you deny those clicks to your competitors. That’s like saying, “Buy this TV ad and you’ll get 25% of the market’s population to walk through your store. Oh, and most of those people won’t walk by your competitors.” Oh, and #2 gets one-half the traffic of #1. After that, traffic share disappears into the depths faster than James Cameron in his submarine. No other marketing channel has the same winner-take-most structure. If your competitor bought a TV commercial, you could buy one, too. If they bought radio time, you could buy radio time 2 minutes later. Theoretically you could buy up all available advertising time for your laxative product. But barring Don Draper, it’s always been difficult. There was always a way to balance out share of voice. Now, there’s no way to do it. The #1-ranked site gets twice as much traffic as the #2-ranked site. That makes #1 the winner, and everyone else the loser. And, it’s getting worse: As Google works to insert local listings, shopping listings, paid product listing ads and who-knows-what-else into the rankings, rankings below #3 get pushed further and further down the page, below the fold, and into click-less oblivion. Welcome to the age of zero-sum marketing, everyone. Get the full story at Portent