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Friday, April 15, 2011

CTR - The Next Change in Google Algorithm for Organic Search?

Friday, April 15, 2011
CTR, Ranking factor in Google?
Image courtesy -Techiemania
Google has officially announced change in its algorithm that could be a possible change in CTR for organic search. While analyzing couple of websites’ ranking on a few key-phrases, I’ve observed that the ranking has fluctuated within a month. And this time the difference has taken a major leap. The ‘primary keyword’ that ranked pretty well on Google 1st page until mid March 2011 is pushed back to 4th page this month. I quickly probed the health of the website and found the site was still SEO compliance, as per Google guidelines.

I then checked the popularity of the key phrases and found a small % increase in demand followed by almost same % of increase in supply. I reconfirmed investigation by logging on to the US server yet the result was same with a minor difference in positioning.  

Quickly, I scanned the dashboard of Google webmaster and what caught my attention was 'click vs. impression’ of a key phrase (that ranked on 1st Page of Google). While reviewing CTR of the keyword, I found a continuous decline in clicks with almost meager decline in impressions. The impressions in the past 3 months of that particular key phrase were almost same yet there was a significant decline in clicks. This has overall impacted CTR pushing back to 0.02% compared to 1.3% for previous months. 

For confidential issue, I can’t share the screenshot of my clients’ websites but it will be a good study to share screenshot of my personal blog to x-ray ranking behavior of keywords in context of CTR. 
Google Webmaster
This screenshot signals me how Google clandestinely is taking CTR as one of the ranking factors in its algorithm.  Guys, if you have not checked, please check if you have similar case. 

If this happens to be true, it will be a major change in Google’s algorithm, even greater than the recent change in algorithm to fight against spammy content farms. This will make black-hat extremely tough to manipulate ranking for two reasons:

1.  Rejections by users to avoid such sites to visit time and again
2.  New algorithm provides an opportunity to another quality website to rank

Just today, many reports are flooded with a change in Google algorithm and its effects on various websites. The algorithm change by Google could be a possible  weightage  of CTR. Guys, check CTR and continuously monitor primary keywords you have targeted to optimize. If CTR is getting low, change the content to make CTR consistent with ranking on Google.  


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I'm not sure if its 100% true but there some truths in it that can't be discarded. Lets see how domain experts think of it. They need to test.

    I too tested a few keywords based on your analysis and found truth with a few keywords while majority of my targeted kps remain unaffected. Let's see if your analysis gets some more verification!

  3. My site is also facing wrath of google algorithm change. All my high ranking keywords are showing -100% decline in impressions and CTR.

    My site's traffic has halved during the last 8 days and i'm not sure what I have to do to get it back.

  4. From another site on this topic i found many content sites like mahalo and ezine are going to have bad effect of this change. Is it still worth putting links on these sites?


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