Does Google Use CTR Data for Ranking?

Hey! Have you seen any of the Harry Potter movies? If yes, then in the first part you must have noticed that the stairs of Hogwarts keep on changing every other minute.

This movie was released in 2010 and I think after watching it Google has decided to opt and implement this technique for their own search algorithms.

“Google Algorithms” What to say about them! It keeps on updating and changing every other minute. In fact, from 2012, Google is updating its algorithms every day, if possible twice a day only to give its users an easy and personalized search experience.

And do you know every year Google releases 655 new updates only to deliver high quality to its loyal customers?

Adding to this there are some Broad Core Google Algorithm Updates that take place every year.

The digital marketing agencies that were established by that time have closely noticed and experienced all these Google updates by themselves.

Especially all the digital marketing companies that offer search engine optimization services pay special attention to all new Google trends and updates to make themselves stand out in Google search algorithms.

It won’t be wrong to say the SEO community entirely depends on Google updates. Whenever an SEO specialist does SEO for his blogs, landing pages, products, or even for meta description he needs to follow Google guidelines to better rank on SERPs.

SEO marketing and content marketing are closely related to each other. In fact, they both go hand in hand. If you work on content you need to use SEO keywords especially the long tail keywords to gain organic traffic and engagement on your piece of content.

Search ranking signals that Google follows to rank any page on SERPs include-

  1. High-quality content
  2. Mobile optimized sites
  3. Number of backlinks used from high ranking pages
  4. On-page optimization work
  5. Improved Site speed
  6. Use of secure HTTP

But… what to say!!!

In SEO society there are many people who always say Google uses CTR data to provide a higher ranking to any web page that Google consists of. The person who always participates and tops this Google debate is Rand Fishkin [CEO and co-founder of Moz]. What to say about him, he is the one who is constant with his words from day 1.

The debate on Google uses CTR data to influence search ranking will NEVER COME TO AN END!

Believe me, this Google topic requires only a few words to catch fire and spread. And you know exactly the same thing has happened!

Only a few words shared in the Google document by the Google search Team present at Google cloud has created a buzz in the SEO society.

The Google doc I am talking about says CTR data does influence ranking factor.

But Wait For A Second!!!

In 2009, Google had released a blog on “what is Google Personalized Search and how Google uses it”. In this blog, the Google search team had taken an example to explain how Google utilizes users search data to provide them with the most relevant results. The words Bryan Horling and Matthew Kulick used in their blog are-

Today we’re helping people get better search results by extending Personalized Search to signed-out users worldwide and in more than forty languages. Now when you search using Google, we will be able to better provide you with the most relevant results possible.For example, since I always search for [recipes] and often click on results from epicurious.com, Google might rank epicurious.com higher on the results page the next time I look for recipes. Other times, when I’m looking for news about Cornell University’s sports teams, I search for [big red]. Because I frequently click on www.cornellbigred.com, Google might show me this result first, instead of the Big Red soda company or others.

From this blog, it’s clear Google utilizes previous search query only to enhance users’ search experience while they suffer the internet. In this blog, there is no such mention that Google uses CTR data for ranking any link on the result page.

In fact, from decades Google is constantly saying they don’t use click-through data for core search ranking. But… the conversation that took place on Twitter says something else.

I have to say the Moz team does follow their director by heart because this Twitter debate was started by none other than Britney Muller the Senior SEO Scientist of Moz. But this time the Moz team have come up with a proof that shows Google does consider CTR data for ranking in SERPs.

Britney Muller had addressed that Google does consider click-through data for search rankings and to make her statement more potent she had shared the screenshot of Google doc highlighting “For example, when you click a link in Google Search, Google considers your click when ranking that search result in future queries.”

She was laughing while making her statement “SEOs, can we put this myth to rest now? CTR MATTERS!!!”

After this, her boss also joined this Twitter debate and was completely in her favor. And why not? Fishkin and Muller both share the same working place. They want to keep Moz in news either by a good or bad way. But we can’t blame them if Google keeps introducing such documents.

In a short period of time, this Google doc has acquired many eyes.

But again what about the statement that Gary Illyes (Webmaster Trends Analyst in Google) has given a few weeks ago?

In his statement, he was clearly saying “Dwell time, CTR, whatever Fishkin’s new theory is, those are generally made up crap. Can’t be clearer than that. Search is more simple than people think”

But then comes the question what about the latest Google Doc which is completely contradicting his words??? As here he is clearly saying that Google doesn’t use click-through data for positioning in Google search.

In this long debate, one more person had joined this conversation and he was the one who is in favor of Google. He was Frederic Dubut from Bing. He joined this debate on 22 Feb and stated that the employee base that Google consists is damn huge! The person who wrote this article must be completely unaware that Google doesn’t use CTR data for search ranking.

I do agree with the words of Frederic Dubut. We all know Google has 98,771+ employees, and it won’t be possible that each and every employee knows and understands the functionality and working of each new update.

But still, it’s a google doc. They should do something to inform their audience about this.

Over to you!

Google considers user’s previous search data (search behavior data) like page clicks only to increase the search quality score for end users. On the other hand, the SEO society always says Google does consider the link people click while positioning the same link again. The new Google doc has again created chaos on this topic, not only for the SEO community but also for the Google users.

Let’s see what Google has to say about the new document. But they need to take an action as soon as possible to put this debate to an end!

If you want to start a discussion or want any help with the content does leave a comment below.

Entrepreneur. Co-Founder at MakeWebBetter | BotMyWork | CedCommerce | CedCoss. Writer at Search Engine Watch | E-Commerce and Marketing. 🙂