Google: We Don't Use Click Data Directly For Search Rankings

Sep 20, 2017 • 7:39 am | comments (10) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization
 

A couple weeks ago, we reported that the head of Google Brain said that Google uses click data for rankings. I have the audio recording of him saying it but I assumed either he was mistaken or he was referring to using the data for checking in on their algorithms. But he did say they use it for rankings and did not clarify when he said that.

I did email Google several times asking for a comment over the past couple weeks and did not get a response. So in the hangout yesterday with Google's John Mueller, I put him on the spot. I asked him:

(Q) To be 100% clear, Google is not using click data, behavioral data, pogosticking, that type of stuff directly in their search ranking algorithm for ranking websites in their search results?

John Mueller of Google responded:

(A) As far as I know, we don’t use that.

The conversation on this started at the 5:16 minute mark into the video. Here is the transcript:

(Q) So I am sure you saw the blog post from a few weeks ago where this guy from Google Canada, Google Brain team from Google Toronto, basically confirmed on some level, Google search using pogosticking, click data and so forth for ranking, for their search rankings. I got the audio transcript, I published it, I emailed Google 3 or 4, I think 5 times now, what’s going on. Nobody got back to me. I am sure you are aware of this, I am sure you are on that chain, you and Gary and so forth, can you explain what is going on or you are not allowed to?

(A) I don’t know what specifically the Google Brain people were taking about over there. That is kind of, I guess, on the side.

But in general we do use this kind of information for evaluating algorithms. That is the kind of thing we’ve been talking about in the past as well. We do experiments all the time with regards to the search results, with regards to the rankings and part of the way to do experiments is to see how people react to those experiments.

(Q) To be 100% clear, Google is not using click data, behavioral data, pogosticking, that type of stuff directly in their search ranking algorithm for ranking websites in their search results?

(A) As far as I know, we don’t use that.

Here is the video embed:

Forum discussion at Google+.

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