People have always wondered as to how a website achieves the top spot in Google search results page. Many believe that CTR is the main factor in determining the ranking of a website on the Google Search Results Page, but this however is a myth. The reality as today stands by the fact that CTR does not have any relation with Google algorithm ranking a website higher or lower. What CTR does is merely describe the ratio of number of clicks to the total number of visitors for every website. Everything else said and claimed, is a myth.
Click Through Rate has always been considered as a driving factor in deciding the position of a website on Google. The websites which fight for the top spot rank on Google or the websites which are already on rank #1 are the websites which have higher click through rate. But does that mean Click Through Rate is the single most important driving factor in getting a website to the top of the rankings? Does Click Through Rate have any effect on the ranking of the website at all?
What is Click through rate:
In layman’s terms, Click Through Rate basically means the total number of people who click a link on a particular website against total number of people who had the opportunity to click the link. This simply means that click through rate is the ratio which determines how many people actually clicked the link on a website and how many of them ignored the said link and decided to move on.
Let’s say you own a website, and the link to your website appears on the Google search results page every time a user does a Google search. When your webpage appears on SERP as a link, the user has two options, either to click the link or ignore it. Now if 30% of the people who see your link to the website click on it, then your Click Through Rate for your website would be 30%.
Click Through Rate and its role in organic ranking:
It is a common myth that CTR has a role in deciding where the link of your website appears on Google Search Results Page. Click through rate is not a deciding factor in ranking a website and it plays no role in organic results. Gary Illyes from Google, while delivering a seminar at SMX Advanced confirmed this by saying “Google uses clicks made in the search results in two different ways — for evaluation and for experimentation — but not for ranking.”
The Google boys Sergey Brin and Larry Page, since the inception of Google, have been trying hard to find ways to stop manipulation of the ranking system, and this only makes sense that if CTR is a major factor in ranking the Websites on SERP then it can be easily manipulated. Any website owner would then pay a small amount of money to affordable SEO Company or just random online workers and get thousands of clicks a day on his website, hence improving his organic ranking. This is against the Google philosophy. It is vulnerability in the ranking system that can be exploited by anyone. Google guys are smarter than that.
Click through rates, though are very good indicators of the traffic on the websites, I highly doubt if they have any real impact on organic rankings in the SERP, even if they do have some effect on the websites, it is likely to be very negligible. If I were to bring my website on the #1 rank of Google SERP, I would focus more on creating quality content that is relevant to the key phrase in question. This would affect many matrices at once and will help my website reach greater ranks.