This week’s Ask an SEO question comes from Jeffrey in Taiwan. He asks:
Will repeatedly searching and clicking my site increase rankings?
The answer is no.
Rarely in SEO do we have absolute answers.
But I can unequivocally say that repeatedly clicking on your own site will not result in an increase in rankings.
If clicking on your own site were a ranking factor, the top spots for every major keyword would be populated by sites with the resources to hire people to click on their site.
Unfortunately, I do know that there are some people out there that have combed Amazon Mechanical Turk and Fiverr to hire an army of folks to click on their site.
There are others that have created sophisticated IP spoofing mechanisms to simulate clicks on sites for alleged SEO purposes.
I am going to say that, without a doubt, clicks alone are not a ranking factor.
In fact, as far as we know, there are no ranking factors that are based on any click-through behavior at all.
Beware of Old Information, SEO Myths & Flat-Out Lies
In order to be effective at SEO, you must have discernment.
Obviously, the best way to understand what is effective is to test things yourself – but that’s not always possible.
Testing is simply not practical for every situation.
We are extremely blessed, however, to work in an industry where information is freely shared.
But even those with the best of intentions may share tips and tricks that are either somewhat exaggerated, impractical or irrelevant or even misleading.
And of course, SEO is ever-changing, so what worked a few years ago might not work today.
It’s important to know how old the information you are reading is.
Unlike our friend in academia, there is no peer-review for SEO information.
We must use our best judgment regarding the accuracy, relevance, and applicability of SEO information.
It helps if you’ve been doing SEO for a long time and have seen where the search engines have been and how they dealt with things in the past.
But for many, the plethora of tips and tricks is overwhelming and it’s easy for even experienced SEO professionals to fall into the trap of following the wrong advice.
There Is No Magic Bullet
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Many SEO pros are searching for the holy grail – that one technique that put them at the top of the SERPs.
I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t exist.
And I’ll also tell you to be wary of anyone who offers you a fix-all solution to your ranking woes.
I’ve written in the past about Google’s “baby algorithms.”
What works for one site may not necessarily work for another site.
There are literally thousands, if not millions of variables that determine which site ranks for a keyword phrase.
Pushing one lever from a blog you read once a few years ago is rarely going to move your site up in the SERPs.
Think About It Like Google
When evaluating SEO information, I’ve found it helpful to try and think like Google.
When I’m building a site or content, my goal is to create value for the user of my site rather than the Googlebot.
But if I want people to find my site, I need to think like Google.
That means looking at how a potential ranking technique will scale as more webmasters start to use it.
For example, encouraging site owners to increase their site’s speed makes sense.
Faster sites are a better experience for both the bot and the user.
But if Google started ranking sites simply by the number of clicks made, we would have people trying to manipulate clicks to sites that don’t deserve to rank for their own name.
That would be a bad experience for all, and would ultimately spell doom for our friends in Mountain View.
They are smarter than that.
And you should be as well.
Editor’s note: Ask an SEO is a weekly SEO advice column written by some of the industry’s top SEO experts, who have been hand-picked by Search Engine Journal. Got a question about SEO? Fill out our form. You might see your answer in the next #AskanSEO post!