Don’t shoot yourself in the foot faking Click Through Rates

Don't shoot yourself in the foot manipulating organic CTR

Last week we provided a tip showing how to get more visitors to your website by improving the CTR of your listings in Google’s organic search results. Check out that article for the specific recommendations.

Click Through Rates Impact Rankings

One point we made was that if the CTR of your listing in Google’s search results is consistently higher than normal for a given search position then this may result in Google promoting it up the search results.

This week an article was published in Search Engine Land  about an experiment on a website which demonstrates this happening.

We acknowledge this experiment is limited in scope and so hardly the definitive word in proving that CTR rates can impact Google rankings. However, from our experience doing SEO for numerous clients over the last 14 years, we’re pretty convinced that higher CTR can move the needle on search rankings.

Why should you care?

A key point to take from this article is dwell time is also a very important factor. If lots of people click on your listing in Google search results but immediately bounce back that’s a pretty strong signal to Google a site is not relevant. And, rather than be promoted in the search results, that site deserves to be demoted.

Finally, this may tempt you to try artificially manipulating CTR by doing something like recruiting a bunch of people to repeatedly click on search listings.

Our advice: don’t do it! You’ll be shooting yourself in the foot…

It’s pretty easy for Google to spot and you’re just inviting retribution and a ranking penalty.


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About the Author Mark Sceats

Mark is a Partner and Senior Consultant at SureFire which he founded back in 2002. Prior to establishing SureFire he worked for KPMG Consulting. Today Mark heads up SEO, embracing the challenges that can come with complex website implementations. Outside of work, his interests beyond his family are running, snowsports, diving and fishing (badly).