Does organic click-through rate (CTR) data impact page rankings on Google? This has been a huge topic of speculation for years within the search industry.
Why is there such a debate? Well, often people get hung up on details and semantics (are we talking about a direct or indirect ranking factor?), Google patents (which may or may not even be in use), and competing theories (everyone’s got an opinion based off something they heard or read). To make matters more confusing, Google is less than forthcoming about the secrets of their algorithm.
But if CTR truly does impact Google’s organic search rankings, shouldn’t we be able to measure it? Yes!
In this post, I’ll share some intriguing data on the relationship between Google CTR and rankings. I’ll also share four tips for making sure your Google click-through rates on the organic SERPs are where they need to be.
To be clear: my goal with this post is to provide just a brief background and some actionable insights about the topic of organic click-through rates on Google. We won’t dissect every tweet or quote ever made by anyone at Google, dive deep into patents, or refute all the SEO theories about whether CTR is or isn’t a ranking factor. I’m sharing my own theory based on what I’ve seen, and my recommendations on how to act on it.
Google CTR & rankings: Yes! No! Who bloody knows!
Eric Enge of Stone Temple Consulting recently published a post with a headline stating that CTR isn’t a ranking factor. He clarifies within that post that Google doesn’t use CTR as a direct ranking factor.
What’s the difference between a direct and indirect ranking factor? Well, I suggest you watch Rand Fishkin’s awesome vi…
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