8 Obvious Reason Why CTR Spam Sucks and Doesn’t Work!
I'm not going to argue that Click-Thru-Rate isn't a factor in ranking. MOZ's Rank Fiskin was able to move a search result in a few hours by asking the audience at a conference to search for a phrase on their phones.
So is CTR a ranking factor: Most definitely.
The are a number of that webmasters have attempted to game the click-thru-rate. Probably most well known was Dan Anton's CrowdSearchMe (who is best known for Backlinks Indexer. The tool has been out for four years. Owner, Dan Anton, swore up and down that it was Microtask workers.
I tried the tool when it first came out and didn't see results; There were SEO's I respect that swore up and down that it was the #1 SEO tool for ranking. I was told I was üsing it wrong. At the time I had a client who was a lawyer that was right at that annoying #11. I decided to take their advice and reroute the micro task workers through a Yelp rather than sending traffic direct; I even paid extra money to get “regional search” from local proxies., I let it run for 90 days. Nothing happened, I didn't go up, so I turned it off.
One thing I did, rather than taking Crowdsearch.me’s Word and assuming it was “real microtask workers,” with some “searching for a mobile app. I took a look at the host log files and saw it was all hitbot traffic. I have an eye for detail from working in adult affiliate programs. The #1 way to spot click fraud was by looking for patterns. Are could see the patterns in the traffic from Crowdsearch.me with my naked eye. If could see the traffic so easily how could it fool RankBrain? When I ran out of credits, I never use CrowdSearch again.
Why CTR Spam Will Never Work
As powerful of a ranking metric that CTR spam, can be here is why trying to manipulate it will fail more ofter than succeed:
- Human Or Not Human? You never be that 100% sure that all of the traffic is human. Unless you have easy access to your server logs or a managed host: You Can't.
- Proxies Or VPN: If going to down the microtask worker route, you will be relying on workers from 3rd world countries, that means VPNs or proxies. Even there are legitimate reasons to use a VPN or proxies: Google is not a big fan! Who do you think maintains a complete list of proxies and VPNs? Adwords perhaps? They are the largest CPC program on earth. It only stands to reason they would keep the most extensive list of proxy and VPN addresses just to stop click fraud,
- Decktop Vs. Mobile: Will Skew: since all of these click farms in are run out of sweatshops in 3rd world countries, the percentage of Desktop versus Mobile will be skewed. I'm sure that's something Google will take into consideration.
- Cookies Cache and History: if you are paying Microtask workers they will have a very erratic search and browsing history which will also be a red flag. They could also delete their cookies and cache combo which ironically is also a red flag to Google,
Whitehat CTR Boosting
You can boost your CTR without having to click fraud:
- Write of appealing headlines that will stand out from the other search results.
- Even though I can't stand them, the chiller SEO headlines right now all seem to be listicles. That is why do you see so many of these “3 Shocking Reasons Your Headline Sucks”. They involve the use of a value word which is most frequently a number, our unique terms such as “sucks,” and a power word says it is shocking. I can't stand these types of headlines, but they're what people are clicking on in 2017.
- Spend a little bit of time crafting a decent description. Write a unique description and Google usually (not always) shows in search SERPs, don't be lazy — use it! Don't just copy text from your article, write something that will be hand crafted and enticing.
- Learn to use Shema. Google is rewarding the use of structured data in ever increasing ways that will help your listing stand out more predominately in the SERPs. I predict JSON-LD will be the greatest influence of the four here.
Turning Over New Leaf
Even before the recent debacle with Project Supremacy, I changed my policy on the reviews. I don't care how much money is at stake or how high the affiliated payout is! If the vendor is unwilling to give me a review copy, then it's not getting a review. If I happen to pick up the product and it doesn't work as advertised, it's going to get a negative review.
If you look at most review sites, you'll see that everything gets five stars, that's because you don't make any sales with negative reviews. That said, I don't care how large the payout, I will never recommend a product I haven’t used successfully and as such, I am withdrawing my endorsement of crowdsearch.me and its high payout!
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