How accurate is the Adwords tool for monthly search estimation?

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[Google AdWords estimates 3k searches per month for an exact match keyword. If I ranked #1 in google for that given keyword, (and supposedly yahoo and bing as well), would I expect to receive AT LEAST 3k uniques per month? Or is the number higher because of the yahoo and bing searches as well?]

I have seen certain types of keyword searches the can generate a 40% CTR. For example, a search for a specific domain name like Facebook will generate a relatively high CTR for the facebook.com website. However, when someone searches for a product or service type of keyword the CTR is rarely over 20% on average.

I have never seen any empirical data that supports the 40% claim. I, like you, have seen plenty of folks on this forum repeat the 40% number, but so far no one has cited a source to support it. When you look at the largest publicly available data-sets they generally range from 17%-23% CTR for position #1.

If you have seen a credible source to support that 40% claim I’d love to see the source. Can you share it?

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