It's Good to Be #1
This chart from SEOBook shows just how important it is to be #1.
Overall Percent of Clicks
1st page totals: 89.82%, 4,425,226 clicks
2nd page totals: 10.18%, 501,397 click
Moving from #2 to #1 results in a more than threefold increase in traffic.
Have heard that second page 1st spot is much better than 6-10 spot on 1st page! (traffic-wise)
I agree that #1 gets the clicks, but consider that number 3 actually gets more SALES.
I don't think that is completely accurate, but it probably depends on the niche and other factors such as the title and description. You definitely want to be ranked in the top 3 though.
dcristo, yeah, I would say that you want to be in the top 3. but for an ecommerce site, I am seeing that being 3rd is when visitors actually end up buying, as the first two they usually use for comparison shopping. Then, if you have the same product and offer a better price (or the same price) they will buy from the 3rd site, not the first two.
Maybe it's not totally true, but my slogan regarding rankings is: "First take it all"
I also experienced that #3 or #2 position bring way fewer visitors than #1 position. I always try to be #1 for a keyword and than move to the next one.
I don't see such a big different if one of the sites from first two is yours and the other one is Wikipedia. Probably a large number of people know what to expect from Wikipedia and if they are not looking for that they just click the next one.