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Title: Yes The Click Through Rate Is A Ranking Signal
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The debate over CTR s potential role as a ranking factor continues with the results of an experiment run by contributors Cesarino Morellato ...
The debate over CTR s potential role as a ranking factor continues with the results of an experiment run by contributors Cesarino Morellato and Andrea Scarpetta

an obsolete query without any traffic (linked to the 2002 Winter Olympic Games)
which had a PDF within the top 10 results (therefore excluding the majority of the on-site ranking factors)
which had close to zero incoming links
which was part of a rather stable SERP
which was between the 8th and 10th positions on the first page for the given query
which was part of a SERP with few or no universal search results
In order to monitor the changes, we used two different methods:
We tracked daily rankings using Proranktracker.com.
We recorded the position of every single URL clicked in a file.
After a week of activity, the clicked URL improved its ranking from the 10th to the 3rd position and maintained an average rank for the rest of the time between the 4th and 5th positions.

Yes The Click Through Rate Is A Ranking Signal


We weren’t completely sure of the results shown by Pro Rank Tracker; the service is usually accurate enough, but we know that Google is changing the results depending on the location of the users. In order to have a proper rank check, we recorded the position of every URL clicked by the software.
We noticed an interesting trend: the average rankings were shifting back and forth a lot more than we imagined!

Yes The Click Through Rate Is A Ranking Signal

Even after the experiment, we can’t definitively say that the click-through rate is a ranking factor. We agree with AJ Kohn‘s vision that it’s probably an “offset” which changes the results depending on specific interests shown by an audience. We could say that there is correlation between the clicks and the “visible ranking” of a query.
We can’t say if this kind of “offset” is stable or degrades over time, but at least we can affirm that an interesting title and meta description influence the click-through ratio, and therefore, it’s an indirect way to influence the “visible ranking.”
We intend to do some other tests in the future to measure if the “pogosticking” effect is real and influences the rankings of a page.


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