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Thread: Click through rate in the algo?

  1. #1
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    Click through rate in the algo?

    Guys, while reading through G's patent application (exciting I know), I came across a bit that made me pause for a minute.
    Quote Originally Posted by Google Patent App.
    15. The method of claim 1, wherein the one or more types of history data includes information relating to how often the document is selected when the document is included in a set of search results; and wherein the generating a score includes: determining an extent to which the document is selected over time when the document is included in a set of search results, and scoring the document based, at least in part, on the extent to which the document is selected over time when the document is included in the set of search results.
    Now I emphasized the part that jumped out at me. Is this something that they were doing years ago but no longer applies? This might be something that was popular before I even knew what SEO was and is probably old news to you guys, but I was under the impression that CTR never improved your SERPs. If this is old stuff, which I am pretty sure it is, this illustrates a need for an SEO history document of sorts. Maybe someone can walk those of us who are relatively new to the scene through how SEO has progressed. I know that kw stuffing used to be the answer but apparently I have a lot to learn about SEO history.

  2. #2
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    well, as you know the patent only was released on March 30th 2005, so everything mentioned (although speculated on) was new to us.

    the thing that i thought was the most interesteing was the section dealing with domain registration length. i recall it mentioning how most 'spam' domains are only registered for 1 yr at a time, thus making them look less legit.

    back to the point - obviously google can tell how many times a document is requested, but i doubt that plays a *big* role in rankings.

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    Well, it does make sense to include that in the algo. After all, G needs to give their customers what they want. If G notices that 99.999% of the time and results from "domainx.com" are not clicked, that's a pretty good indication of a problem with that site (spam, bad layout, slow load, etc.). G actually uses user behaviour to detect problems.

    Persoanlly, I avoid any results from about.com. The amount of advertising drives me nuts and it's almost always *almost* what I'm looking for - not the exact fit.

    But this is just another reason the meta description is so important. By not including it you risk your site being passed over for sites that do. It may not hurt much short-term, but you'll definately feel it in the long run if your domain gets devalued becuase nobody ever clicks it.
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    But wouldnt this just open the algo up to fraud? I guess if its only a small part of it, then maybe not, but it seems to me that in a competitive niche, someone might decide to just have a bunch of people regularly search for that term and click on their site. It doesnt seem smart to me... but then again, I am no G engineer.

  5. #5
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    IMO - it certainly is not a *big* part of the algorithm... (if it even has any weight)

    automated programs can click on your site from the SERPs all day (from random IPs) and i'm pretty sure it wouldn't make a difference one way or another.

    or, automated programs could click on every SERP but your competitor all day, and i'm pretty sure your competitor wouldn't be affected either.

    **note: obviously i have not tried this, but i assume other people have**

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    Well, I suppose they could compare results from people with the G toolbar installed to make sure the % look even (or even look at Alexa for that matter). Also, if a site *suddenly* gets 10K visits through the 8th page of the SERPs, that may look a litle fishy...

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    don't wanna bring this too far offtopic - but the G toolbar is SOOo shady.
    i'm sure it can keep track of time spent on pages, bookmarks, pages visited and probably a whole load more...

    now, with google analytics, they'll be able to see referrer traffic and the most intimate details of any site...

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    now, with google analytics, they'll be able to see referrer traffic and the most intimate details of any site...
    this can be a possibility in future... Since now they are in the testing stage..

    I heard that in Adwords the CTR are evaluated to position... so is that too new... or ?
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  9. #9
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    Right. My point was G can use other avenues to verify click-through rates as being consistent so they *could* use that in their algo.
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    16. The method of claim 15, wherein the scoring the document includes assigning a higher score to the document when the document is selected more often than other documents in the set of search results over a time period.
    Ref: patent Declaration, just below the above qouted one..

    [0090] Additionally, or alternatively, search engine 125 may monitor time-varying characteristics relating to "advertising traffic" for a particular document. For example, search engine 125 may monitor one or a combination of the following factors: (1) the extent to and rate at which advertisements are presented or updated by a given document over time; (2) the quality of the advertisers (e.g., a document whose advertisements refer/link to documents known to search engine 125 over time to have relatively high traffic and trust, such as amazon.com, may be given relatively more weight than those documents whose advertisements refer to low traffic/untrustworthy documents, such as a pornographic site); and (3) the extent to which the advertisements generate user traffic to the documents to which they relate (e.g., their click-through rate). Search engine 125 may use these time-varying characteristics relating to advertising traffic to score the document.
    I think this point also should be mentioned here ...
    Last edited by kichus; 12-21-2005 at 02:41 PM.
    Search Engine Marketing India "With a Virtue of being Practical...!!!".
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