There have been search engines which have the algo of listing the site with the best click throughs first. Many people may recall directhit (Webmaster World archive)
There is not a good free click though search engine that one can add their site to today. If there were it would be a gold mine for title and description optimization and proving of content. Today to get really good stats on how well a listing is optimized for click through one must run it as a search engine ad.
The SEO game is not about vanity of being listed first – being the best at optimizing pages. It is about providing the customer a service or product that they want.
This means the title and description match what the customer wants; and content is king. The site delivers to the customer what the title and description promised.
A search engine ad campaign is most effective by doing click though optimization correctly. I just do not get it why people fail to optimize their pages for SEO with the same consideration.
Click through optimization is not something to be ignored or separated from SEO. Although it is not being used in it purest form it is far from dead. Google does indeed monitor click throughs. Google uses
http://www.google.com/url?…url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.EXAMPLE.com to collect this information from the native search. Do a search and press the right mouse button on the link the status line will show the actual URL the link points to.
There is two things they can use this data for. First improve the listings of sites that are optimized for click throughs. Second remove the sites that are not optimized from the first page.
It is important to look at search engines as friends. When they penalize sites many start to see them as foes. Search engines are in the business of providing the customer (which is not the webmaster) what they want. If the customer says by his actions the first listing is not the best listing in the search engine the customer is right. The customer of the search engine is your potential customer, if he says your listing in the search engine is not appealing – he is right.