Interesting AMA last week with Gary Illyes, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst. It's always worth tuning into these things, but I guess you should also take them with a pinch of salt.

Google has to be very wary with what they say publicly as spammers can go crazy. Gary even said so himself, "I can't give a concrete answer here because spammers would have a field day with it."

There were answers from Gary on how Google uses search interaction metrics, which are likely true, but far from the whole truth. He commented that search interactions are used primarily as evaluative metrics in live experiments for new algorithm changes. From multiple patents, comments from several ex Googlers, and my own experience, I highly doubt this is the only use case. Google's former Search Quality Chief, Udi Manber said that:

"The ranking itself is affected by the click data, If we discover that, for a particular query, hypothetically, 80 percent of people click on Result No. 2 and only 10 percent click on Result No. 1, after a while we figure probably Result 2 is the one people want. So we'll switch it."

Anyways, have a gander and see what you think! 👀

Andrew Charlton