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[DEBATE] Causation vs Correlation - Black Hat

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by englandrm, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. englandrm

    englandrm Senior Member

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    I know that Google tracks anything and everything. For example bounce rate, time spent on page, and click-thru rate. (at least in my mind they do).

    I figured why not try and take advantage of that.

    I went to MTURK, and posted the following HIT for 2 cents. (200 hits per week)

    1. Go to Google
    2. Type in my keyword
    3. Select my site
    4. Keep the page open for at least 2 minutes
    5. Click on at least 1 internal link before leaving

    (PS don't do this with mturk, it got my account suspended).

    When I started, I was in position 9 or 10. Fairly competitive software related keyword.

    After 2 weeks of this, I was bouncing back and forth from 5-6.

    They banned my Mturk account, and I move back to 10.


    Other possibilities. (small SB blast, 1k), 1 article sent out to 500 sites.


    So what do you think. Was my MTURK campaign increasing my ranking, and keeping me there, or am I getting over-excited by a pure coincidence?
     
  2. tonyy

    tonyy Junior Member

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    Coincidence, visits has nothing to do in your rankings.
     
  3. englandrm

    englandrm Senior Member

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    I understand that visits won't impact rankings, but I could have sworn I heard somewhere that Google tracks the visitors actions on the site.

    Obviously not mouse movement, but this method was increasing average user time on site and decreasing bounce rate.
     
  4. jaytal

    jaytal Registered Member

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    I think it could affect your rank. And I have a good reason to believe that. Think about adsense ads and google ads for search terms. When adsense ads have a low ctr on a crappy site the advertiser pays less due to smart pricing(this indirectly correlates to the time spent on the site). When the adsense ads are clicked on a ballin site then smart pricing doesn't kick in and the advertiser pays the normal fee.

    This also means that when the advertiser has better ads that causes people to click and the clicks get cheaper. On the flip side if the advertisers ads have a terrible ctr everywhere then their QS becomes very low, clicks become expensive, and their ad rank drops.

    QS directly correlates with a bunch of stuff like your keywords, meta, title tags, amount you pay, and most importantly the click through rate.

    This probably isn't a super clear explanation, read through it again if you don't get it because I'm in a rush.
     
  5. MrE

    MrE Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I suspect it was the article marketing which provided the SERP increase, I have excellent results submitting articles to paid and private article networks.
     
  6. mdv1975

    mdv1975 Junior Member

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    I love the causation / correlation debate.

    For example - its been proven that there is a correlation between ice cream sales and shark bites.

    Every year, when ice cream sales increase, so do shark bites.

    Correlated? Yes! Does ice cream sales cause shark bites? Or course not!

    The actual reason: When its hot outside, people eat more ice cream. They also swim in the ocean more.

    On your specific case, I would say I can't say for sure. I think you should test again, and make sure no other variables are changed from your side. Keep everything the same, except for your visits, and see what happens.


    If I were starting a search engine, I would make the length of time someone spends on a site, and how they exit a very critical part of the algorithm. Seems to me, those two factors tell you a lot about the quality of a site. I would generalize to say, the longer someone stays, and the fact they click to another link on your site once they get there (versus back button) seems like a pretty good sign of quality, relevant data.

    Thanks for the question - I'm definitely going to test on a site or two.