Does Organic CTR Impact Google Rankings?

Organic CTR Impact on Google Rankings

Does organic click-through rate (CTR) data impact google rankings? This has been a huge topic of debate for years within the search industry.

Several tests seem to have shown that the click-through rate Influence the Google Organic Ranking. A new test seems to show the opposite. Who to believe?

According to Rand, Click-through rate is a Ranking Factor

Rand Fishkin ( co-founder of ), has several times used moz's large subscribers (mainly via social networks) to carry out SEO Tests. A test in July 2015 seems to have shown that the Organic CTR (Click-through rate) Improve Google Search Ranking, and that a better CTR led to a better position in search.

But be careful, his test was biased, like all tests, and the CTR was not the only variable. He talked about this again in a video referring to a patent you should read. He had already been interested in this in 2014.

According to Bartosz Góralewicz, Google no Longer Uses CTR in Their Ranking Algorithm

Bartosz Góralewicz conducted a test in March 2015 to try to prove the same, but he came to the opposite conclusion! According to Bartosz, Google no longer take into account CTR in their Organic Ranking Algorithm. You can read hiss explanations on Search Engine Land (as well as in more detail on its own site ).

In summary, Bartosz used click bots, which simulate users doing Google searches and clicking on results. He explains that he had trouble getting there, but after weeks of work he could simulate visits that Google apparently did not identify as Bot user. To prove this, He shows that the visits were recorded in Google Analytics and Google Search Console (which is not easy for simple clickbots ). And most importantly, he was able to influence Google Trends and Google Ad Planner. In his conclusion, he believes that it is finally safe to tell that that Google has abandoned CTR from their core algorithm, because this metric can be easily manipulated.

According to Google, CTR is not a Ranking Factor

Besides, Gary Illyes ( Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google ) said in 2015 that Google do not use CTR as a Ranking Factor.

My Personal Opinion

Well then, if Google does not use CTR as a Ranking Signal, why other tests have positively shown Organic CTR Does Improve Google Ranking? And why do we read That Higher Organic CTR Lead to Higher Position on Search Engine?

Here are some thoughts I would like to share with you about tests I Mentioned Earlier:

  • Rand's Test Conducted By Real Human Users: Real Human Google Visitors, with Browsers cookies enable. Conversely, the experiments of Bartosz were made with software. Although he ensured that google were unable identify this as artificial visit, But it does not prove that Google's algorithm has not "decided" to ignore these types of queries and clicks. In reality, it seems probable that Google checks if the CTR increases for people not connected to their Google account as for others (Ditto for many other things such as the type of desktop / mobile device, Operating system, browser, etc.).
  • It is also possible to surmise that the actions performed by human visitors at Rand's test to increase the CTR have involved other criteria which may also influence the search ranking.
  • Bartosz conducted the test for a short amount of time (2 weeks if I understood correctly). In my opinion, to improve the CTR results in improved positioning, it takes a much longer period. And if one day there is a peak of traffic (it can happen, buzz or other), the CTR must keep high after that, otherwise it does not confirm the interest of Internet users.

What is Your Opinion About Organic CTR Impact on Google Ranking?