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Google Click Tracking?

Does how many times a result is clicked affect ranking?

     

overgroove

9:57 pm on Mar 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Continued from:
[webmasterworld.com...]


I've noticed when looking at the source for the Google main page that it seems like it tracks the href of a link. It seems likely that the link is being tracked. Does Google consider how 'popular' a link is and does this have an effect on placement?

[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 10:32 am (utc) on Mar. 30, 2004]

AmericanBulldog

11:18 pm on Mar 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Hi overgroove,

Welcome to webmasterworld.

In regards to your question, in a word "no"

edit_g

12:16 am on Mar 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



In regards to your question, in a word "no"

In four words: "how do you know?"

Google has been serving up those tracking results (seemingly) at random, for yonks now. Also, if you try the bookmarklet to toggle google's new look, you'll see that it is a constant feature. I don't know what Google is doing with this information and nor, with all due respect, does anyone else who doesn't work for Google.

adfree

12:23 am on Mar 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I would consider click through in combination of the recorded search terms to be a very powerful equation if brought into context to the site's theme structure.

Why would Google not be interested to give this some weight as well?

I would, provided it does not get abused.

shrirch

6:04 am on Mar 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



>> it does not get abused.

Remember DirectHit.Com?

CCowboy

6:14 am on Mar 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



SE Click tracking alone has no value for Google, in that Google is serving up the results.

What would have the most value is if they were able to measure time spent on site and pages viewed.

Based on recent events, since they started this "IPO adword filtering crap", I don't think they are bright enough to measure those elements.

[edited by: CCowboy at 6:20 am (utc) on Mar. 15, 2004]

edit_g

6:18 am on Mar 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Google does something like 250 million searches a day. Imagine that they use the tracking urls for 0.25% of those searches. That's a pretty decent daily sample size - you can get a lot of data from this.

If something like this isn't always on it is hard to abuse it, it is hard to even find it. And if they detect abuse from one ip address - why not just ignore it? There are a myriad of things you can do to ensure that the tracking is quality. Google buildt a search engine indexing 6 billion documents, the leading PPC program, google news and orkut. Does anyone really think they're not smart enough to build a tracking system which can account for some inividual abuse?

CCowboy

6:26 am on Mar 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Abuse is not the real issue!

The issue is are the results relevant. If they are not tracking time on site and pages viewed, their tracking has no true meaning. I don't think they willing put those types of resources forward!

CCowboy

6:38 am on Mar 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



edit_g

You sound like a top level employee, or an investment banker.

edit_g

6:40 am on Mar 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



The issue is are the results relevant. If they are not tracking time on site and pages viewed, their tracking has no true meaning. I don't think they willing put those types of resources forward!

How do we know what they're tracking... I can think of plenty of things on the SERP's I'd like to track if I was at Google.

This discussion is a bit too 'black helicopter' and speculation for me, I'm bowing out.

CCowboy

6:48 am on Mar 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I promise, there is 'black helicopter' theory lover here! Just a 43 year old former broker and banker who understands GREED! Well hell... I'm 43, I think I still remember!

Anywho, I'll be the guy mooning as I drive by Club Fed!

Donít Get Excited!

otech

12:16 pm on Mar 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



It might not add weight to rankings, but if they werent tracking it wouldnt they make each result a direct link?

At present, the links in the SERPS call:
Example:
www.google.com.au/url?sa=U&start=2&q=http://(url here)

This means that everytime you click a result, you are telling google thats where your headed, then google redirects you... i would say they would have to record this otherwise why waste the millions of hits back when everyone clicks a search result?

Notice they also have the variable start, which is equal to the ranking of the result....

perhaps they use that information to track if a visitor clicks back to the SERPS page and clicks another link or heads back to google for another non-related search later.. it could give them good info on how relevant their results are perhaps...

doubt they could use it to adjust rankings though, its not that relevant to the quality of the site... more the quality of their own results...

karakas

10:59 am on Mar 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



My logs show that anything between 6% and 15% of all referrals from Google are of type "unspecified query, Google", which was always a mystery to me. Now it makes sense to relate these figures to Google's redirections, since the latter don't contain the search terms.

Thus Google is not storing information for a sample of queries as small as only 0,25%, as suggested earlier, but for much larger sample, at least for my site.

pmkpmk

11:38 am on Mar 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I'm sorry, but in the SERPS for a few keywords I checked it's direct links, and no redirect page.

Do I look in the wrong place? I checked the source for the page and looked at the "a href" tags...

newwebster

1:16 pm on Mar 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I think otech is probably on to what they are doing. They are tracking their own results for relevence. Their wanting to see how many different searches are performed by their users before they stop searching. This would let them know how good of results they are giving their end users.

plumsauce

7:49 am on Mar 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I'm sorry, but in the SERPS for a few keywords I checked it's direct links, and no redirect page.
Do I look in the wrong place? I checked the source for the page and looked at the "a href" tags...

look at the onclick attribute of the a tags.

they call a javascript function clk() with the
parameters consisting of the url, and serp placement

the function then loads an image using these
parameters.


to disable this particular tracking activity
in IE on a permanent basis, put google.com in
the restricted zone and make sure that the
restricted zone has javascript disabled

this has been verified to behave correctly
using a network sniffer.

+++

internetheaven

9:33 am on Mar 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



They're certainly doing something, I tried starting a thread three times yesterday about this subject but the moderators wouldn't let it on the forums. This is the last one they wouldn't let on:

"Google have just switched their linking structure on the search results pages. About five hours ago Google.com started displaying listings but using a redirect script which looked like this:

h**p://www.google.com/url?sa=....www.example.com...

I posted this at the time and it was deleted. Now (five hours later) everything looks normal but if you check out the source code for the page you will see the following next to each href link:

onmousedown="return clk(1,this)

which if you check the header information shows the redirect url in a javascript coding."

If you like conspiracy theories, try asking Webmasterworld why three threads of mine which tried to mention the specifics of the redirect were never shown.
Infact, all of my message responses were put on hold 'for administrative review' right up until Google changed from a redirect URL to using Javascript later in the afternoon.

Robert Charlton

10:28 am on Mar 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



New Link Format in Google results?
[webmasterworld.com...]

See msg #4, and note how often this has been talked about. There's a link at the top the definitive word from GoogleGuy, back in 2002, on the same topic...

Redirect urls on Google SERPS
[webmasterworld.com...]

[msg #46] We normally don't track redirects on urls because it slows users down. That data is useful though, so we sometimes do random sampling to make sure that our quality is still high.

plumsauce

11:04 am on Mar 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member





msg #46] We normally don't track redirects on urls because it slows users down. That data is useful though, so we sometimes do random sampling to make sure that our quality is still high.

this is now more than a once in awhile thing. it is
now the most prevalent behaviour. at least during
the searches that i do. yours may be different.

and as unsolicited advice, they need to do more
sampling. :)

+++

 

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