But that test had one pretty big flaw — it relied on bots artificially inflating CTRs and search volume (and that test only involved one two-word keyword: negative SEO). So essentially this test was the organic search equivalent of click fraud . Advertising Continue reading below I've seen a lot of people say that Google will never use CTR in organic rankings because it's too easy to play or too easy to fake. I do not agree. Google has been battling click fraud for 15 years and can easily apply that knowledge to organic search. There are many ways to detect unnatural clicks. What did I just say about the old stuff? Before looking at the data, one final disclaimer. I don't know if what this data reveals is due to RankBrain or some other machine learning based ranking signal that is already part of Google's core algorithm.
Either way, there is something here fax list and I can most definitely say with confidence that CTR has an impact on rankings. NEW DATA: Does organic CTR impact SEO rankings? Google said RankBrain was tested long-term, which makes sense. Google wants to start testing its machine learning system with searches it has little to no data on — and 99% of pages have no external links pointing to them. Advertising Continue reading below How can Google know which pages should rank in these cases? . CTR is one of the better indicators of the two. As far as we know, high volume lead terms are not exposed to RankBrain at this time. So, by looking at the differences between the organic search CTRs of the long-tail terms versus the leading terms, we should be able to spot the difference: Why You Need to Increase Organic CTRs | Search Engine Journal So here's what we did.
We looked at 1000 keywords in the same keyword niche (to isolate external factors like Google Shopping and other SERP features that can alter CTR characteristics). The keywords are all from my own. Advertising Continue reading below I compared CTR to ranking for one- and two-word search terms and did the same for long-tail keywords (search terms between 4 and 10 words). Notice how long-tail terms get much higher average CTRs for a given position. For example, in this dataset, the leading term in position 1 achieved an average CTR of 17.5%, while the long tail term in position 1 has a remarkably high CTR, at an average of 33%. You're probably thinking, Well, that makes sense.