Short Clicks versus Long Clicks

// // September 22nd 2009 // SEO

Long Clicks vs Short Clicks

Google wants to see long clicks not short clicks. That’s the new SEO terminology coming from Google.

What’s a Long Click?

A long click occurs when a user performs a search, clicks through on a result and remains on that site for a long time. They don’t come back to the result set immediately to click on another result or to refine their query. In general, long clicks are a proxy for satisfaction and success.

What’s a Short Click?

A short click is the opposite of a long click. (No duh!) A short click occurs when a user performs a search, clicks through on a result and quickly comes back to the result set to click on an alternate result. In general, short clicks are a proxy for dissatisfaction and failure.

How is Google Tracking Click Length?

No, it’s not through Google Analytics. They’re not peeking at bounce rates. Instead Google is measuring pogosticking activity by leveraging their current tracking mechanisms. Remember, Google already tracks the user, the search and the result clicked. All Google needed to do was to accurately model the time dimension.

Why are Long Clicks Important?

Long clicks are important to Google because it gives them a way to measure the satisfaction of the result based on downstream behavior. Sure, a result might get a lot of clicks but did it actually satisfy the query?

Is it a success if 100 people click but 98 go back within 10 seconds? What if those 98 people all clicked on an alternate result?

Google knows that the search algorithm still isn’t that smart. It routinely makes mistakes and can often be led down the wrong path by aggressive search engine optimization. Long clicks provide a feedback mechanism, a type of human quality assurance that is lacking in the algorithm.

Long clicks are important to you because they will may help increase your SERP rank.

The chatter from Google makes me believe that it is part of the algorithm. How much it is weighted now and in the future remains to be seen. One way or the other Google is saying that longer is better.

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Comments About Short Clicks versus Long Clicks

// 2 comments so far.

  1. Socialated // February 19th 2013

    I have always been under the impression that google is not tracking the number of clicks and length of time spent on the page. It makes sense that they would track that, and I understand your human quality control analogy, but has google openly said this is happening? Any links you can share from google that prove this?

  2. AJ Kohn // March 06th 2013

    The biggest indicator of this is the expanded Authorship links that appear when you return to a SERP after staying on a page for a certain amount of time.

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