Advertising Continue reading below CTR and Google Rankings: Yes! Nope! Who knows! Eric Enge of Stone Temple Consulting recently published an article with a title stating that CTR is not a ranking factor. He clarifies in this article that Google does not use CTR as a direct ranking factor . What is the difference between a direct and indirect ranking factor? Well, I suggest you watch Rand Fishkin's great video on this very topic. Basically, we know that some things have a direct impact on rankings (I got a link from a reputable website, hooray!), but there are plenty of other things that don't have a direct impact. , but still have an impact on rankings (a top influencer tweeted about my business and now tons of people are looking for us and checking out our site, awesome!).
This is essentially the same problem as last touch attribution, which gives all credit to the last interaction. But in reality, multiple hair masking service channels (PPC, organic, social, email, affiliates, etc.) can play an important role in the path to conversion. Advertising Continue reading below The same is true with ranking. Many factors influence the ranking. So here's my answer: direct, indirect, who cares? CTR may not be a direct basic ranking signal, but if it impacts rank (and I think it does), then it matters. Also, while it doesn't impact rank, you should still care about it! But don't take my word for it that Google has the technology. Check out these slides from Google engineer Paul Haahr, who spoke to SMX. Also, AJ Kohn wrote a good article on Google's click-through rate as a ranking signal last year. He included some revealing quotes which I will share here because they are important.
The first from Edmond Lau, a former Google engineer: It's pretty clear that any reasonable search engine would use click data on its own results and feed it back into the rankings to improve the quality of search results. Rarely clicked results should drop to the bottom because they are less relevant, and frequently clicked results rise to the top. Building a feedback loop is a fairly obvious quality step forward for search and recommendation systems, and a smart search engine would integrate the data. The second from Marissa Mayer in 2007 explaining how Google used CTR to determine when to display a OneBox: We hold them to a very high click-through rate expectation and if they don't meet that click-through rate, OneBox is disabled on that particular request. We have an automated system that looks at click-through rates per OneBox presentation per query.