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  1. Entrepreneur
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    I agree with KernelPanic now organic search rs influenced by CTR as Google using https://support.google.com/webmaster.../6229325?hl=en methodology for the better results
    Last edited by Prof.stan; Apr 25th, 2017 at 03:27 PM.
    You do your business I do mine because you are you and I am I If we meet it is nice.
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    Originally Posted by KernelPanic
    CTR is definitely a very important part of paid search, it's silly to think it's not part of the organic algorithm.
    Being a sceptical, simple soul who's seen heaps of SEO urban myths over the years, I try to trace the history of interest in supposed SEO ranking factors.

    Here are some pertaining to CTR as a Google generic ranking factor...

    6 Oct 2010. Author Barry Schwartz: "Google said it might be used for user behavior testing, but implied not in the ranking algo"
    This is the same answer delivered six years later in the Mar 2016 Q & A video linked above.

    22 Jun 2015 Author Jennifer Slegg: "How Google Uses Clicks in Search Results, According to Google"
    This is essentially the same answer now delivered by G's Gary Illyes as the one delivered in Oct, 2010.

    As far as I can make out...

    On the other hand we seem to have Rand Fishkin of Moz speculating that CTR may be a G algo ranking factor and a report by SearchMetrics about ranking factor correlations.

    Here is what SearchMetrics says on the subject...

    a. Searchmetrics Ranking Factors – Rebooting for Relevance

    "Searchmetrics’ study of Ranking Factors & Rank Correlations is here to serve as a comparative benchmark for webmasters, online marketers and SEOs..."

    b. "Explained Ranking Factors: Rank Correlations And Their Causal Interpretation"

    "Note: A high correlation does not necessarily mean it’s a ranking factor!"

    "Since 2012, Searchmetrics has published our annual “Ranking Factors Study”.

    ...what is our definition of a “Ranking Factor”? How – exactly – is it analyzed? What’s a correlation? What does this report mean to you, and why should you take any notice of it? Often, misunderstandings arise regarding the interpretation of data and its causal relationships"

    It seems R Fishkin intended to run a bunch of experiments (including CTR tests) with IMEC Labs.

    Julian SEO,
    I can't find any direct data about this experiment.

    A third party reported a Fishkin experiment using the search term, "the buzzy pain distraction". There are only 47,000 pages that match this query!

    Then it reported 6 other low competition search tests (search terms not specified). In these "tests", five pages rose one place in the rankings and one page dropped one ranking.

    What value are these data as search queries on which to base a theory?

    What seems relevant to me is that the IMEC Labs who are collaborating with Fishkin in his "experiments" is run by Eric Enge.

    Eric is the participant in the March Q & A video above, who is suggesting to Rand that his results could be caused by other factors like a "query deserves freshness" signal.

    A final couple of notes.

    a. Let me offer the full SearchMetrics quote about its ranking survey...

    "Searchmetrics’ study of Ranking Factors & Rank Correlations... is no longer as universally applicable as it once was. This study of general ranking factors is being published for the last time."

    b. Jun 2013. Author Michael Martinez. "Madness Reigns in the State of Confusion in Online Marketing"
    Only 4 years old but the goodies will last forever. Everyone interested in SEO should read this.

    IMHO, ya gotta do your homework to justify your position as an SEO expert.

    Me? I'm just a student of the genre.

    There could well be references I've missed. If so, I'd be delighted if folk would improve my knowledge.

    PS. Prof Stan. I don't see how your reference relates to this discussion about CTR. Please explain...

    Comments on this post

    • Prof.stan : Not much agree u r referring old posts
    Last edited by JohnAimit; Apr 26th, 2017 at 06:53 AM.
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    Not directly but now google can red flags the site who has been reported by us u can read more on it from https://blog.google/products/search/...ements-search/ so it seems that now Google is also tracking this in somehow, this speculation is mine and ur could be different
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    Hi Prof Stan,
    This reference seems to have even less to do with the CTR discussion.

    I'm totally confused. Please clarify.
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    For me CTR has some effect on ranking although most of the time it is not considered a ranking factor but websites with good CTR can have a little edge.
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    Originally Posted by JohnAimit
    IMHO, ya gotta do your homework to justify your position as an SEO expert.
    Yeah every once in a while referencing other professional's work to support your case is a good idea but vomiting up what they say in post after post after post does not make you an expert. This is a forum of SEO Professionals who are quite capable of Googling wtf brand of crappy beard wax Rand Fishkin thinks should rank #1. What do YOU, the SEO Professional have to think? What has YOUR testing told you? When YOU look at Google Analytics what does it tell YOU? This isn't a homework assignment dude, tell me what YOU see.
    Quite frankly I could give a rats *** what Gary Illyes says. He's probably lying.

    Comments on this post

    • Chedders agrees
    • Prof.stan agrees : as usual on the spot
    Last edited by KernelPanic; Apr 26th, 2017 at 08:35 AM.
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    Wow, Fantastic discussion going on.
    I have not run a big test like Chedders or Moz to correlate CTR and SERPS and neither do I have a definite conclusion in general. We normally work with small businesses and deal in local scales. If observations be anything, there is a positive co-relation between CTR and SERP positions.

    My simple observation is : If CTR is improved with manual searches, serp positions improve. However, they are temporary if the Page does not have the merit. But if it does the SERP boost sticks.

    What does that mean?

    Well lets say I have a new website and with 3 months of SEO effort its ranking at #5 for a particular keyword. Say we put 15-20 people to search for 3-4 similar keywords and do the following.
    1. Click #3 and bounce back to Google SERP.
    2. Click #4 and bounce back to google SERP
    3. Click #5 (target page) and stay as long as possible
    then like most people noticed it does take a jump to #4 or #3. But these will never stay until the target site deserves it. Like better prices than #4 and #3, better user experience, better information etc etc.
    The reason is simple, if I am manipulating 100 clicks and there are 200 genuine users discarding that behaviour we are bound to loose our position.
    However, if the real user set also agrees to it, the SERPs positions boost will stay.

    If you ask me to prove it I cannot. The are based on only 30 odd local business projects and the level of manipulation was really low and the competition moderate.
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    YES, it will improve Bounce Rate and as Bounce Rate is a ranking factor then CTR is also
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    Originally Posted by dpuk44
    YES, it will improve Bounce Rate and as Bounce Rate is a ranking factor then CTR is also
    ow
    How u come with this? Can you add more on it to proof so that we all we get this?
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    This is 2017 and as you know content quality is driving the Google signal seat 'so to speak'. Google doesn't want to send traffic to your site if they're not going to enjoy it. If they bounce right away, it's a signal to Google that your website was not a good result for that query. Hence CTR will help bounce rates stay lower.
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    Talking


    Originally Posted by KernelPanic
    This is a forum of SEO Professionals... What do YOU, the SEO Professional have to think? What has YOUR testing told you? When YOU look at Google Analytics what does it tell YOU? This isn't a homework assignment dude, tell me what YOU see.
    I think it is completely impossible for any single SEO to have access to enough data and resources to establish what are most SE ranking factors let alone what each one's level of ranking impact may be.

    My testing and eyes tell me that:

    • The single most important SE ranking factor is the level of competition for a specific search query.
    • For some searches the location of the business and the searcher are dominant factors.
    • For a small number of search types freshness of the content is important in rankings for variable time periods.
    • SE ranking is primarily driven by the individual words used in a search query not the specific sequence of words.
    • The RankBrain algorithm seems to kick in when short term search queries are used.
    • Some voice actuated search can deliver a second search query result that is derived from an understanding of a prior query.
    • Site structure and page design can have a major impact on ranking results.
    • Search words used in page titles, link text and URLs score more ranking points than search words used in other page situations. How many more points, no one can tell.
    • External links can impact on a page's ranking factors but other than link text, we only have our personal opinions as to what makes one link valueless while another could make a huge difference.
    • There is insufficient data in Google Analytics that can offer any input of value as to algorithm ranking signals.

    Please advise where you think G Analytics offers any insight into these ranking factors. I don't see them but I'd be delighted to be corrected.

    Every professional SEO should know that Google Analytics is designed to support Adwords campaigns. When we use it as an SEO tool, we damn well need to be aware of its serious limitations for this purpose.

    The very first Analytics limitation is that it hides at least 60% of its search query info as "not provided".

    I have a few very old clients that go back to before G started to hide the search query data. Not only does Analytics hide search query clicks, it hides the unique search query numbers used. I'd guestimate on these old sites that Analytics only reports around 15% of the unique search queries used in any month.

    Then we have the search environment in which SEO professionals want magic answers...

    • G makes around 3 algorithm changes per day.
    • The timing of these implementations will be spread around 1,000s of G data servers at unknown times
    • None of us know which G data centre we are accessing when we search and each can result in different search rankings
    • We have no idea how many millions/billions of new pages are added to G's index every day
    • We have no idea how many millions/billions of old pages are deleted every day.
    • We have no idea how many millions/billions of pages have been revised every day.

    In this universe of 130 trillion documents and constant change, some very brave people think an SEO professional can make definitive assessments of important G search ranking factors...

    This is supposed to be an educational post. I'd love to learn why I am so wrong in your eyes but you do need to offer a bunch more justification than "I believe" statements. We'd still think the earth was flat and that the universe rotated around the Earth if we could not progress past unjustified, "I believe" statements".

    PS. Do we want to delve into the logic and hypotheses of how complicated analysis of CTR rates for search queries would be?

    Comments on this post

    • KernelPanic agrees : Great Job!
    Last edited by JohnAimit; Apr 27th, 2017 at 05:02 AM.
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    Originally Posted by JohnAimit
    Please advise where you think G Analytics offers any insight into these ranking factors.
    Excellent question:
    I use GA daily, lots of stuff to see.
    Raw, Non-branded organic search traffic: Obviously
    Time on page: Does a page where people spend 3 minutes rank better than one where they spend 20 seconds?
    User/City data: Why do I get so much traffic from this city going to this page?
    Mobile user behavior: Again, obviously

    I have to go to work, will add more later

    Conversion metrics
    Average page load time, does a page that loads faster rank better?
    Visitor segmentation

    That's all I can think of off the top of my head. I'm sure there's tons of articles that you can read that can teach you how an SEO Professsional would use Google Analytics
    Last edited by KernelPanic; Apr 27th, 2017 at 07:00 AM.
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    I like this discussion. Because I knew so many things by this forum. But I think that CTR is a ranking factor. I helps you to raise your rank on top in Google. I don't know much but I told whatever I think.
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    CTR is definitely a huge ranking factor. Is the website is not "clickable" - what the reason for search engines to show it in SERP?
    The same thing in AdWords. Non-clickable ads receive a low-quality score metrics.
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    Let me offer some thoughts for folk to ponder about the consequences of G using CTR as an algo ranking signal...

    The G algo exists to provide the "best" web page that answers the words in a search query.

    * At present G is up to 130 trillion pages that it has indexed.
    * Annual search volumes are up to around 3 trillion per year.
    * The average length of search queries is 4+ words and growing with the increased use of voice search.

    Consider the mechanics involved for G in tracking the above little lot...

    * Over a year G will need to record the use of 12 trillion individual search words.
    * Each word will need to be apportioned across the web pages clicked on.
    * How frequently do we suppose G will need to upgrade this database of search words? Indexing of web pages varies with the change history of the pages. Will CTR index updating follow a similar pattern or will it vary based on when some one clicks on a SERP link?
    * What about synonyms and typos? Which word would G chose to credit with the click-through? How useful would tracking CTR on typos be?
    * What about "strikethrough" search results? G can provide search results where a web page is listed in the results even when one of the search words is not on the page. How would these search words be managed in a CTR index?
    * What about Google search "stop words". This must be a constantly moving feast with the introduction of voice search.
    * What happens with AI searches where a second query search result is conditional on the first search query. CTR rates for individual words are meaningless in these situations.
    * Then there are the "sqillions" of rarely used search queries. G tells us that 15% of all searches have never been used before (450 billion searches per year). I suggest 70% of a well SEOed site's traffic could be derived from searches that are use less than ten times per month. From Analytics reports, I see only around 15% of search queries reported. If true, that would mean 2.55 trillion search queries would be used less than 10 times per year.

    What might this all mean?

    A distortion in relevant search results? Eg.

    * If someone went out to SEO target the name of a local town or suburb, they could create irrelevant distortions related to a type of product or service available in the location area.
    * The length of the search query should create an impact on search words way beyond anything useful or relevant. I.e. A 6 word search query could cause a ranking boost for pages that don't deserve to be boosted for most of the 6 words.
    * A huge expense for G. G has thousands of web servers in many data warehouses around the world. Any hardware/software experts around here who could give us an idea of what sort of cost impact might tracking CTR, maintaining and updating D/B around the world add to G's basic costs?

    I've read articles that indicate that G. consumes 10% of the world's electricity power and old articles that say G uses as much electricity the city of San Fransisco.

    I hope this post indicates the major differences that may apply between using CTR in a paid search algorithm vs. G's generic ranking algorithm.

    What do you think, troops?
    Last edited by JohnAimit; Apr 28th, 2017 at 08:35 AM.

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