Do Click-Through Rates Rank?

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Today, search engine optimization remains to be one of the unyielding factors in getting users and potential consumers to notice your business. In order to herd in prospective customers, Search engine optimization specialists think of many creative and diverse ways to get a user’s attention in order to divert his or her interest towards his or her website. For an SEO Company, generating click-through-rates is imperative and has great importance. It’s not always an easy task, and more often than not, the chances are incredibly slim that one would get a click-through rate. Seeing as the web is littered with countless other websites, the competition is as stiff and as rigid as ever. To be precise, there is no other business in the world that gets more competition than having a website online. But should your website prove lucky and garner a click through (with a user perusing page after page of your content), your next query would be: Will this click through rank?

But before we get to that, let’s divert our attention first to two interesting queries that beg our answers. To lucky tech savvy, especially ones who specialized in web design or search engine optimization, this is something they have been working with for years but to the novices and newbies alike, this is all online jargon.

So just what is a click through rate? And just how is it significant? Well, before going into the heart of the article, let us first discuss these two essential queries:

Click-through rate or CTR is a way of measuring the success of an online advertising campaign for a particular website as well as the effectiveness of an email campaign by the number of users that clicked on a specific link. In simpler words, CTR is the percentage of people visiting a webpage who access a link to a particular advertisement. This is crucial to an online marketer or business as this would connote that a user has successfully clicked through and accessed the contents of your website through a specific link. There are many arguments whether or not CTR is really a necessity, but it is important to consider that CTR gives you an expansive view of how well your ad attracts visitors. Furthermore, it also helps in giving a base of visitors who will potentially convert and helps gauge success relative to your competitors and campaigns.

So with all this, can we truly say that click-through rates rank? If so, what are the evidences and substantiation of such theory? This article aims to answer both by walking you through the different proofs to support this claim. So here are the top reasons why there is reason to believe that click-through rate affects rankings:\

1. Each click-through rate signifies as a “user vote”

As Google is a search engine that puts emphasis on getting answers for a user’s query, it is only safe to assume that Google would reward those results that generate a high click-through rate. Essentially, this is like users casting their vote towards a result that is most relevant to their search query (based on title and meta description). This is how results get positioned at the very top of the first page. If the top result on the first page does not generate high click-through rate than what Google would expect compared to lower ranked results, it is safe to say that it is a waste of valuable space.

2. CTR Affects Ad rankings

Google has completely relied on click-through rate to calculate the quality score of an ad in adwords. As a matter of fact, they regard it as “the most significant component of quality score because it directly indicates which ads are most relevant to our searchers”. Good quality score is essential to Google’s search network’s ad rank as this is determined by cost per click multiplied by quality score from which ads are sorted in descending order.

3. CTR can be easily manipulated

CTR can never be relied as a heavy signal as this is rather easy to manipulate. People have experimented with various blogs and websites asking hundreds of other people in the world to search for a particular query and click on a specific result. This ensued in results having a correlation between manipulated CTR and ranking. Though, it may be suspected that Google has a preference for fresh content and this would have something to do with the temporary ranking results that are receiving numerous clicks due to a trending popularity on the subject. Generally though, click-through rates tend to be consistent relative to the position and the search query.

4.Bounce rates signify relevance

Bounce rates (as when people leave your website) is measured whether people “bounce” after the initial page they visited without scanning and browsing the other pages of your website. If most visitors leave your website after seeing the initial page, it gives Google the impression that it is not what people are looking for, rendering your website useless. When people leave your website without browsing through its contents, it shows their lack of interest in your website which lowers the Site Score/Quality Score.

5. Time Spent on a Websites Translates to Quality Score

When visitors are browsing through the pages of your website and are spending a lot of time within, it gives the impression and the signal that visitors and users find your website helpful and are actually “spending time” reading the content offered on your website. When this occurs, it increases the quality score since it shows that your website is not spam and provides information rich content for the visitors to read. Shall a website be spam, visitors would not spend so much time on it and will leave after the page initially visited.  In addition to this, it is a reality that quality websites have more people who will spend time reading their content. This is yet, another factor that matches what Google is trying to provide their users.

To conclude…

Evidence strongly suggests that Google does indeed use click through rate as a signal. From its nuances, it can be inferred that it uses click data as an implicit form of feedback to re-rank and improve search results.

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