To make matters more confusing, Google is less than forthcoming about the secrets of their algorithm. But if CTR really has an impact on Google's organic search rankings, shouldn't we be able to measure it? Yes! In this article, I will share fascinating data on the relationship between Google CTR and rankings. I'm also going to share four tips to make sure your Google click-through rates on organic SERPs are where they need to be. To be clear: my goal with this article is to provide just a brief background and actionable information on the subject of organic click-through rates on Google. We won't dissect every tweet or quote ever written by anyone at Google, dive into patents, or refute every SEO theory about whether or not CTR is a ranking factor. I share my theory based on what I saw and my recommendations on how to act accordingly.
Advertising Continue reading below CTR and Google Rankings: Yes! Nope! Who knows! Eric Enge of Stone Temple Consulting recently published image masking service 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 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.