5.5 Click popularity
Click popularity is a ranking system that is used by some search engines. The users' behaviour is traced in order to determine which pages they found to be relevant to their queries. In particular is analyzed how many users come back to a search engine, using the "Back" button of the browser, after clicking on a search result. If a website in the period of case analysis had 32 visitors out of 35, who came back to result page of the search engine, after visiting it, probably it is not a very useful website, perhaps it expired or its content is not about the search terms.
Google does not use click popularity in its algorithm but it seems Yahoo does at least in a minimal part. MSN used to receive reports of click popularity from Direct Hint. Right now Direct Hint no more exists as stand alone search engine; it is just a part of Theoma, a minor search engine.
It is not without any reason that it is only one of the minor components of the ranking algorithms.
First sometimes people behave strangely and click on results that have nothing to do with what they have searched for. It may happen that even if a user searched for "computer science", he finds an interesting website about digital camera, which sells also personal computer nevertheless is specialized in photography. If the user is also interested in digital cameras he may not go back to the search engine, although the content was not really relevant to the search term.
Secondly only the first ten or twenty results in the list will receive visitors. That means that the search engine does not have information to evaluate the others; if it was the only parameter of the ranking algorithm the pages with a low PageRank would perform worse and worse for their insufficient visibility.
Finally in some cases a prompt return to the search engine might mean that the user did find the answer to his query, like the score of a soccer match, before continuing to search for information on other topics.
There are mainly three methods you can use to improve the click popularity.
First of all, you need to write good content and use the right keywords so that all the visitors who will arrive to your website will find what they were looking for.
Second, if your website is not too big and it has just some dozens of visitors a day you can use a non-transparent proxy server to do a search with the search term you are trying to get a top ten ranking on. Every time you get to your website, you close the browser, delete the cookies and repeat the process with a new proxy server. It will mask your IP-address, which fools the search engine into thinking that you are someone else than you really are, just as long as you remember to delete any cookies possibly used by the search engine and change the proxy server every times.