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The Evidence Mounts: Click Through Rates (CTR) Are A Ranking Factor

Although most of us in the industry already knew (without even a hard proof) that click-through rate does affect the ranking of a site. But now we have got the proof.

Wall Street Journal has obtained an integral Google document via the US Freedom of Information Act that says the Google indeed uses CTR as a ranking factor.

Here’s the most important bit from the document.

“In addition, click data (the website links on which a user actually clicks) is important for evaluating the quality of the search results page. As Google’s former chief of search quality Udi Manber testified:

“The ranking itself is affected by the click data. If we discover that, for a particular query, hypothetically, 80 percent of people click on Result No. 2 and 10 percent click on Result No. 1, after a while we figure out, well, probably Result 2 is the one people want. So we’ll switch it.””

Google’s co-founder and the president of the parent company Alphabet also confirmed that apart from helping them understand that whether their search algorithms are providing users with high-quality results or not, the click data is also important for many other purposes, including ranking well on the SERP.

What does it mean to you?

Site owners are already trying their best to get more traffic to their site using various means. So their second most important goal has always been getting more clicks and the first being, well, increasing profits for their or their client’s business.

But those who didn’t prioritize CTRs, NOW is the time to do so. But before that, It’s important to understand that Google ranking is one thing and CTRs are something else.

Actionable strategy

Click through SEO is about giving the users more reasons to click on your website. Like writing attractive titles & page descriptions, showing positive reviews on your listing etc. No doubt that the basic remains the same like trying to get a higher position on the search engine result pages, getting featured snippet status etc. But when it comes to CTR SEO, you also pay attention to the aspects that do not directly impact your rankings.

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