Does CTR Click-Through Rate Affect SEO? CTR and SEO
Whether or not Click Through Rate (CTR) has a major impact on search engine optimization – or little to no impact whatsoever – has been a point of contention in the SEO world for years and years.
Some experts argue that if your CTR levels are abysmal you’ll end up shuffled to the back of the Google sandbox, whereas others say that your CTR has next to no impact on your search engine optimization efforts and will only impact your conversion rates.
Thankfully though, in the last few years we’ve actually had quite a bit of light shined on the subject by Google search engine employees themselves. Recently, a Google Ranking Engineer named Rand Fishkin tweeted out information that seemed to confirm that Google pays close attention to CTR when ranking one website over another – putting things to bed once and for all.
RankBrain in the underlying algorithmic architecture that decides how individual pages on the web are ranked in the Google search engine network, taking into account literally thousands and thousands of different data points to put one website over another across all of the search results that are returned in a fraction of a second when someone uses the search engine.
Because it takes into account so many different data points, and because there are so many Google Engineers that have professed they don”t fully understand how the ranking system works themselves – the actual people that work on and build this platform – there’s a lot of confusion out there about how to “game” the system to get your sites ranked higher, faster.
What we do know for sure, however, is that the RankBrain algorithmic architecture pays close attention to all of the data that is able to pull from the entire user experience from the moment they search specific keywords all the way through the links they click and whether or not they bounce or stay on the sites that they have uncovered.
Obviously, CTR levels are going to be higher for those that rank highly already so there’s a little bit of a chicken or egg situation on people’s hands as far as search engine optimization is concerned. But Google engineers very much pay attention to whether or not sites have quality anchor text, relevant content, and are able to capture the attention of those that are clicking on the links to begin with – and CTR rates definitely seem to be able to influence whether one site is placed above another or not.