Do Clicks influence Google search ranking? Is Google telling the truth about click data and pogosticking, meaning that clicking on a specific search result and then returning to the search results page in a little while influences the search rankings? These questions are not new at all, the debate is running wild, but their answer is still not clear, maybe until now.
In general Google’s answer is that they do not use click data for ranking because it is a hard metric to use and respectively easy to spam. On the other hand Moz says that they ran several tests, even in the past two years, which tests prove that Google does use a type of click data for ranking. This interesting debate had a concrete discussion during the previous week in a Google Q&A.
The discussion was between Andrey Lipatsev from Google and Moz’s Rand Fishkin via WebPromo hangout. You can find the real video of the debate but in general Andrey did say that it is a hard challenge for Google to establish click data as a strong signal and that it is a rather “game-able” metric.
He announced that Google’s statistical tests showed that pogosticking in search results does not improve quality at all. Andrey also speculated that the results from Moz’s tests might be caused by a burst of searches, links or social mentions, but even if they throw Google off slightly with time they figure everything out.