Search Engine Watch
SEO News

Go Back   Search Engine Watch Forums > Search Engine Marketing Strategies > Search Engine Optimization
FAQ Members List Calendar Forum Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 05-23-2007   #1
lakruwan
Seologist
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 17
lakruwan is on a distinguished road
Lightbulb Can you influence the Google reuslts just by clicking?

just a thought. I'm curios.

If a large number of people did a search for a specific key phrase and kept clicking on a result that appeared in page 4, for a certain period of time, could it cause the site to move up in the Google results? maybe increase PR?

for all i know this could be the dumbest question in SEO history but i still want to know the answer.
lakruwan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2007   #2
evilgreenmonkey
 
evilgreenmonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: London, UK
Posts: 703
evilgreenmonkey has much to be proud ofevilgreenmonkey has much to be proud ofevilgreenmonkey has much to be proud ofevilgreenmonkey has much to be proud ofevilgreenmonkey has much to be proud ofevilgreenmonkey has much to be proud ofevilgreenmonkey has much to be proud ofevilgreenmonkey has much to be proud ofevilgreenmonkey has much to be proud of
It's certainly not a dumb question and something which I'm planning to run a test on. Google's click tracking on natural search results is there for a reason, and it would a sensible assumption that CTR can alter your ranking. You'll probably need to run the test on a term which isn't too competitive and automate the clicking through at least 100 different IP addresses. It would also be interesting to run a second test where each of those 100 IPs has its own Google account and logs in before the clickthrough.
evilgreenmonkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2007   #3
lakruwan
Seologist
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 17
lakruwan is on a distinguished road
Thumbs up

thanks evilgreen, i've been planning on running a test on this myself..only prob is limited resources, (i.e IP addresses)...i'll think of something..in the meantime i was wondering...

I know everyone talks about linking as THE most important thing in SEO. The way i figure(my logic as warped as it may seem), google places weight on relevance, keyword density, keywords in titles, keyword links etc.... If so a large number of people clicking on a specific result for a specific term HAS to make a big difference.

I'm relatively new to SEO and if I thought of this, the BIG guns must done so ages before me and probably tried it out. This method,(which i believe is a black hat SEO technique) if successful is quite similar to "google bombing", wouldn't google have picked up on it. Its just i can't seem to find any clear info on the net regarding this.
lakruwan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2007   #4
NewKidOnTheBlock
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Germany
Posts: 563
NewKidOnTheBlock is a glorious beacon of lightNewKidOnTheBlock is a glorious beacon of lightNewKidOnTheBlock is a glorious beacon of lightNewKidOnTheBlock is a glorious beacon of lightNewKidOnTheBlock is a glorious beacon of light
You might want to do a couple of searches on 'usage data' + 'SEO' etc.
Some people believe usage data will eventually become as important as link authority..or at least be a strong 2nd factor. What's gonna happen nobody knows for sure, but I've also read opinions, that it won't become the most important factor, as it's just too easy to manipulate (the way you suggested for example :-)). I think letting the users judge through their actions could be a great way to improve an engine's algorithm, but if it should really be too prone to manipulation, they probably can't depend on it too much.

Usage data is not only the click through rate, but also the bounce rate(exp?), etc. (I dont know if thats already an important factor, though..if at all). If few people click through to your site, chances are it seems irrelevant to their search query. If many people leave the site right after clicking through (bounce rate), that also means it isn't relevant to their search query..or well sucks.

However, I don't believe that CTR analysis in the SERPs is a very important factor, yet (Im just saying, not overly important, now. Im not saying that they done use it):

I know a couple of SERPs, that have absolutely irrelevant results in their top10. Simply because the company name happens to have the keyword in their name, though the company operates in a completely different field (one was for example about 'plastic surgery', but had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the keyword). When I ran a search on them..I would have never clicked on any of those results/links I have in mind, because they were not even remotely related and it was very clear in the title tag, that they weren't. And I cant see many (any) users clicking through.

Actually, I believe by using CTR analysis for these SERPs they could definitely make them more relevant by weeding out such results, that aren't even remotely related to the search query (but happen to call their company similar to the query). But apparently, they're not doing it in a very strong way, yet or else those results should be weeded out of the top10 (those are not totally uncompetitive keywords and they seem to have roughly the same link authority as other top10 sites, yet their CTR should pale in comparison).

P.S.: Keep in mind, that Im not trying to say theyre not doing it, at all. I just believe its not nearly as important as link authority (,yet?), but can see usage data becoming more important in the future, too.

Last edited by NewKidOnTheBlock : 05-23-2007 at 05:11 PM.
NewKidOnTheBlock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2007   #5
NewKidOnTheBlock
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Germany
Posts: 563
NewKidOnTheBlock is a glorious beacon of lightNewKidOnTheBlock is a glorious beacon of lightNewKidOnTheBlock is a glorious beacon of lightNewKidOnTheBlock is a glorious beacon of lightNewKidOnTheBlock is a glorious beacon of light
I would be interested in hearing other opinions on this, especially yours evilgreenmonkey. You really seemed to be interested in this question, too and are obviously a lot more experienced in this industry than I am. Do you (or anyone else) think, that my theory is valid?

Actually, I'm really wondering why Google (or other SEs) wouldn't sort out such sites, that most likely have extremely low click through rates (most people probably won't click through to a site in the title of which it says plastic surgery, cosmetic surgery, etc. after searching for something totally different)..maybe at the end of all other computations.

Maybe the computation would take up too much time and they don't see enough value in it in order to employ this in their algorithm?

I assume Google should have enough data to see if a site has an extremely low click-through rate for its position in the SERPS. But maybe this assumption is wrong?
NewKidOnTheBlock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2007   #6
gobeyond
Minneapolis Web Design
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 73
gobeyond will become famous soon enough
I believe Google also tracks the amount of time a visitor stays at a site, not just the click rate. Perhaps you can increase the ranking by more clicks from different IP addresses. But if the visitors don't stay long, that can make Google think the content is not very relevant and end up dropping its rankings.
gobeyond is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2007   #7
NewKidOnTheBlock
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Germany
Posts: 563
NewKidOnTheBlock is a glorious beacon of lightNewKidOnTheBlock is a glorious beacon of lightNewKidOnTheBlock is a glorious beacon of lightNewKidOnTheBlock is a glorious beacon of lightNewKidOnTheBlock is a glorious beacon of light
@gobeyond:

Yep, I agree with you:

Quote:
Usage data is not only the click through rate, but also the bounce rate(exp?), etc. (I dont know if thats already an important factor, though..if at all). If few people click through to your site, chances are it seems irrelevant to their search query. If many people leave the site right after clicking through (bounce rate), that also means it isn't relevant to their search query..or well sucks.
If users leave the site too quickly, that might not only be an indicator for the site being irrelevant but also for simply being of bad quality/no useful content.

However, the click through rates could be great for weeding results out of the SERPs, that rank (because the company uses the keyword phrase as a part of their company name (Ive seen such top10 rankings quite a few times)), but are absolutely irrelevant to the query.

However, the question is how important are click-through rate & length of stay on a page/site in Google's (or Yahoo's, etc.) algorithm at the moment? And how important will they become. Right now, at least the CTR doesn't seem to be a very important factor, yet (at least imho).
NewKidOnTheBlock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2007   #8
beu
 
beu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Atlanta, GA U.S.A.
Posts: 2,197
beu is a name known to allbeu is a name known to allbeu is a name known to allbeu is a name known to allbeu is a name known to allbeu is a name known to all
Thumbs up Great Points!

It seems to reason that if engines track click rates for paid that they would also track natural clicks.

After all, nobody visits search engines to click on ads!

It seems to reason that engines would also track time on page and/or back button referers, if for nothing else than to find sites with "sneaky redirects".

So, I think click data is important for both natural and paid!
beu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2007   #9
caugas
Trance/Dance Music makes the world move faster
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: South Shore - Massachusetts
Posts: 306
caugas is a jewel in the roughcaugas is a jewel in the roughcaugas is a jewel in the roughcaugas is a jewel in the rough
Nice Topic

This is a good topic. I would like to think that CTR, page visits, and web site visit length either plays a part in natural listings or could possible play a part in future natural rankings. I say this because user data - placed against search phrases certainly is could be defined as a factor that revolves around the relevancy debate.

Someone brought up the fact that user data could easily be altered or rigged, this is currently absolutely the case (i.e) click fraud, but I would think the logically answer to that is to have the SE algo pick up on this type of suspect activity.

Just my opinions.
caugas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2007   #10
gabs
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: London uk
Posts: 69
gabs is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by evilgreenmonkey
100 different IP addresses. It would also be interesting to run a second test where each of those 100 IPs has its own Google account and logs in before the clickthrough.
Me thinks if you have a google a/c and your logged in then it would be easy to follow your search history to work out what theme of search you do and if your history can be "trusted" to count CTR..

Could be a similar algo to PR .. The more votes the more trust worthy...

Might be worth only visiting pr 9's + and your pr1 .. see what happens then..
gabs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2007   #11
beu
 
beu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Atlanta, GA U.S.A.
Posts: 2,197
beu is a name known to allbeu is a name known to allbeu is a name known to allbeu is a name known to allbeu is a name known to allbeu is a name known to all
True, I think the numbers would have to be way off before any flags went up! I see this as like a second line if you will, used mainly to catch spammers.
beu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2007   #12
NewKidOnTheBlock
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Germany
Posts: 563
NewKidOnTheBlock is a glorious beacon of lightNewKidOnTheBlock is a glorious beacon of lightNewKidOnTheBlock is a glorious beacon of lightNewKidOnTheBlock is a glorious beacon of lightNewKidOnTheBlock is a glorious beacon of light
Quote:
I would like to think that CTR, page visits, and web site visit length either plays a part in natural listings or could possible play a part in future natural rankings. I say this because user data - placed against search phrases certainly is could be defined as a factor that revolves around the relevancy debate.
I think it's very likely, that it will play a big(ger) role in the future. I've heard this from more than one source, actually and it does seem very logic.

Quote:
Someone brought up the fact that user data could easily be altered or rigged, this is currently absolutely the case (i.e) click fraud, but I would think the logically answer to that is to have the SE algo pick up on this type of suspect activity.
I believe, that was me. I think it really all comes down to how much more effective usage data can make their rankings relative to the effort of doing this. For example, I don't doubt, it will help them make their algorithms more effective and that they CAN pick up on that type of suspect activity as you said. But overall will this effort be justified by the increase in relevancy? Or will they notice, that maybe it would be better to spend their money on tweaking their link analysis algorithms to identify quality/spammy links?
NewKidOnTheBlock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2007   #13
simons1321
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 100
simons1321 is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by gobeyond
I believe Google also tracks the amount of time a visitor stays at a site, not just the click rate. Perhaps you can increase the ranking by more clicks from different IP addresses. But if the visitors don't stay long, that can make Google think the content is not very relevant and end up dropping its rankings.
Now, i'm not super technical when it comes to the back end programming of websites and the internet, but I do know a fair share of programming and development. So exactly how would Google (or any SE for that matter) be able to track how long a visitor stays on any given site?

I guess if they used data collected by G Analytics, but not everyone uses that and personally, that would just give me one more reason to drop Google analytics.

I can't think of a way that an external website would be able to track user movement from another website unless it was given strict permission to do so. And that would most likely require some sort of back end programming or script to do the job.

Last time i checked, Google didn't have any permission from any of my sites.

And as far as click data, I had a client a couple years ago who was hard pressed to believe the same thing as all of you and decided to have his entire web development department (22 people) click on their organic listings on a daily basis. I think he assigned each person to click at least 20 times on each of their top 25 keywords. The results over a year of this insane waste of time.... minimal if anything at all.
simons1321 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2007   #14
caugas
Trance/Dance Music makes the world move faster
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: South Shore - Massachusetts
Posts: 306
caugas is a jewel in the roughcaugas is a jewel in the roughcaugas is a jewel in the roughcaugas is a jewel in the rough
Quote:
Originally Posted by simons1321
I guess if they used data collected by G Analytics, but not everyone uses that and personally, that would just give me one more reason to drop Google analytics.

And as far as click data, I had a client a couple years ago who was hard pressed to believe the same thing as all of you and decided to have his entire web development department (22 people) click on their organic listings on a daily basis. I think he assigned each person to click at least 20 times on each of their top 25 keywords. The results over a year of this insane waste of time.... minimal if anything at all.

Point 1. You would be surprised how many people use or have used Google analytics.
Point 2 That is very scary, that 22 people click natural listings (25 keywords) for a prolonged period, just plain scary!

Thanks for your impute!
caugas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2007   #15
NewKidOnTheBlock
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Germany
Posts: 563
NewKidOnTheBlock is a glorious beacon of lightNewKidOnTheBlock is a glorious beacon of lightNewKidOnTheBlock is a glorious beacon of lightNewKidOnTheBlock is a glorious beacon of lightNewKidOnTheBlock is a glorious beacon of light
Quote:
And as far as click data, I had a client a couple years ago who was hard pressed to believe the same thing as all of you and decided to have his entire web development department (22 people) click on their organic listings on a daily basis. I think he assigned each person to click at least 20 times on each of their top 25 keywords. The results over a year of this insane waste of time.... minimal if anything at all.
I dont mean to be a wise-guy, but I only said, that I believe there's a chance usage data might become important in the future, but that I didnt think it was very important at the moment and that I couldn't tell, if it would ever really become important. And I think a few others share a similar belief?

I've heard they were using things such as Google Analytics & the Google toolbar(?), etc. in order to try to track usage data. However, I don't know enough about this. I've heard microsoft was at an advantage, if user data should become important, though as they own the Internet Explorer. Could microsoft gather tons of usage data very easily that way?

That being said, if usage data finally becomes an important ranking factor, I would definitely not ask 22 people to click on all of my keywords 25 times a day, but try to influence users in a more indirect way (just as now you have viral/marketing or link baiting in order to get links in a natural looking way).

I guess, that would look a bit suspicuous and be a pattern, that could be easily detected by Google, as they should be smart enough not to make it an important ranking factor unless, they've found a way and taken precautions in order not to get their search results spammed and become irrelevant.
NewKidOnTheBlock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2007   #16
LStyron1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1
LStyron1 is on a distinguished road
Wink Never Give Up

All The Messages I Have Readed Are All Right.
LStyron1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2007   #17
JPRuss
JPRuss
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 16
JPRuss is on a distinguished road
Similar to the prior post about tracking time on a site.

I am unclear as to how google might be gathering click data for organic search results. As far as I can tell google passes the actual link to the site back in the search. Some search engines pass a link back to themselves and then redirect to the site (in which case they can capture the click data)

It doesn't look like google is currently doing this.

I don't think google would base rankings on click popularity, unless they had a good way to measure it without people trying to abuse it.

JP
JPRuss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2007   #18
Steven D
 
Posts: n/a
Monitor click

Google could monitor clicks with their toolbar.

So watch out!!!
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2007   #19
caugas
Trance/Dance Music makes the world move faster
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: South Shore - Massachusetts
Posts: 306
caugas is a jewel in the roughcaugas is a jewel in the roughcaugas is a jewel in the roughcaugas is a jewel in the rough
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven D
Google could monitor clicks with their toolbar.

So watch out!!!

When you "say" clicks, do you clicks from the SE to the site or do you mean visitor clicks on an independent web site? Clairification would be good, thanks.
caugas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2007   #20
JPRuss
JPRuss
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 16
JPRuss is on a distinguished road
I was referring to clicks from the search engine query results to the site itself.

Although, as Steven D mentioned the google toolbar could be used to track all kinds of "Unscruplous" things.

Pehaps I'm too trusting but I think they would follow their own privacy policy for the toolbar

http://www.google.com/support/toolba...acy.html&hl=en
JPRuss is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off