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Karen Francis
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Hey all,

I was offline when this went live and am only just catching up on the news, it’s interesting the takes from a variety of SEO specialists about how this answers questions.

Here’s the full transcript if anyone would prefer to read rather than watch the video.

Search Engine land has now listed the top 3 search ranking factors as:
1 & 2: Links & Content
3: RankBrain

I like that Rand talks about the experiments he has done inviting users to click on items from a search and sees the impact it makes with a quick rise, then a fall in the following days. I’ve participated in some of his experiments and seen the results live. He has a whiteboard Friday about how sites can go to a higher “new normal” in trials he has done.

In the discussion about CTR as a ranking signal, from the transcript:
“the point of that is that it seems to me that if you’re using click-through rate as a main measurement of other ranking factors, to better measure search quality, it doesn’t really matter to me that much whether it’s a direct ranking factor or an indirect ranking factor. It still is used in evaluating search quality.

Also from a link to Search Engine Watch embedded in the transcript:
“User engagement metrics are not a solid ranking signal, but you shouldn’t rule them out. They signal to Google that your website is serving the answers or solution to what your users are searching for, making them an invaluable metric, moreso than a link.”

Personally, I wouldn’t regard CTR as more important than a link for ranking success, but I would regard it as a metric that requires improvement for site visibility and success. Often it comes down to what are the competitors of the site doing, and which areas can be improved to have the site you are working on be positioned above them in the results.