SEO Experiment: CTR Manipulation

1,500 Mechanical Turk workers were instructed to:

  1. search for [money term]
  2. search for [money term, test site brand]
  3. click on [test site]

mechanical turk
I wanted to see if a follow-up search and high CTR had any impact on Google Suggest and rankings.
While we did notice a spike in clicks and impressions, Google Suggest wasn’t influenced in any way and neither were rankings.
A follow-up experiment could include a and consistent longer test period with more workers but it would cost a fair bit, so I’m parking this idea for now.

Extra Information

Amazon doesn’t give much detail about qualified workers:
worker details
Here’s a sample of mturk workers in csv format.
I do have Search Console data for the test query and here’s a typical day:


Countries Clicks
India 283
United States 147
Turkey 11
Macedonia 10
Unknown Region 10
Australia 7
Nigeria 5
Sri Lanka 5
United Kingdom 4
Venezuela 4
Croatia 4
Greece 4
Italy 3
France 2
Belize 2
Philippines 2
Canada 1
Romania 1
Germany 1
Thailand 1
Bangladesh 1
Bahrain 1
Colombia 1
Guatemala 1
Japan 1
Mexico 1
Sweden 1
Tunisia 1
Spain 0
Ireland 0
Iran 0
Poland 0
Slovenia 0

Device Breakdown

Devices Clicks
Desktop 486
Mobile 20
Tablet 9


Dan Petrovic, the managing director of DEJAN, is Australia’s best-known name in the field of search engine optimisation. Dan is a web author, innovator and a highly regarded search industry event speaker.

-4 Points