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Aidan
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Thank you Paul, it is indeed that comment from Bert which is so inflammatory as it does inescapably convey that Bert believes some of us do not know what we are talking about and he is in a position to judge who.

Bert, of course you’re free to ask questions as I do myself within reason. I don’t however try to judge my mechanic or plumber in their technical knowledge as I am simply not able to judge because of my lack of knowledge in those areas.

If you’ve followed this discussion all the way along you would know that even Fishkin himself does not consider CTR a factor or at least no longer does, what little faith he had in it was shattered by Andrey Lipattsev of Google in the March Q&A.

No doubt this week he has been reconsidering his theory on Domain Authority too following confirmation from Google that they don’t actually have such a concept!

Which raises the point – if you’re looking for info on optimisation be careful of the sources you trust, if you’re going with the ‘tabloid’ SEO sites be aware that what you’re reading there is not necessarily always correct! Look instead to the higher authorities and particularly Google and read those statements carefully, there can be a huge difference in the meanings of sentences if you change just one word.

If you get the chance to talk to a Google engineer personally grab it – they’re not going to give away the farm but they can usually settle an argument. I had one debunk bounce rates as a good metric when folks were going nuts about its supposed importance. While you’ve got them, ask them what they think of the popular SEO websites, you’ll get a laugh out of it.

For other SEO people who might read this – I still like the quick feel that DA can help give me, much the same as the Majestic metrics, CF and TF can help give a quick feel of a search landscape – but I know enough to know that they are not even remotely the same as how Google models Pagerank. They’re just another stab at getting some kinds of measurements to work with when we don’t have the real Google data. They are easily manipulated and often are in some industries. Treat with great caution.