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The "X Factor" in Google Rankings?

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by howard_hughes, Feb 6, 2011.

  1. howard_hughes

    howard_hughes Elite Member

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    I noticed something today in my analytics account and It may not be something new to pro-webmaster here, but it'll definitely be something new for atleast a few of you.

    I've about 90-100 sites, in different niches and I track them all in Google analytics. One of those sites is a 20 page blog that I never update but I saw it ranking real good for a lot of mid competition keywords. It's getting 300-400 visitors a day and that too mostly from SE's. So I thought Why?

    I log into Analytics accounts, compare all the factors and see the the
    "Avg Time" spent by visitors on that site is 3 mins, 23 seconds. So Google was just awarding me rankings because of that. How?

    I say so because -

    1. I never seo'd that site (On Page)
    2. That Site has good content but I never made any backlinks.

    That essentially means that Google is giving mysite good rankings because people like the site (they stay 3mins+ on the site) so ..

    Along with all those "linkbuilding" + "keyword optimization" techniques, if you guys ALSO focused on keeping visitors on the site for longer time, it will lead Google into believe that the "User Experience" has been Good.

    Hence the "X Factor" in Google Rankings, That A lot Of Beginners might Be Missing Is "User Experience."

    Now Thats not something new, but it certainly helps a lot (more than you think):)
     
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  2. imperial109

    imperial109 Regular Member

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    Test it out. It's easy to keep people on sites for a long time. While creating a good user experience is really good for long term, you can also use javascript to accomplish the same thing. Google has already taken care of the easy tricks like forwarding, but there are ways which you can change the time on the page.

    I would suggest not sharing the exact way since it would be used by lazy noobs and screw it up. If you can figure out how to do it, then you prob won't screw it up.

    However, your CTR will be higher if you provide a good user experience rather than trick them.
     
  3. howard_hughes

    howard_hughes Elite Member

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    I agree, there are indeed a lot of ways to make them stay longer, without affecting the (Ad) CTR, and in turn, Google rewards you with rankings.
     
  4. housemusic

    housemusic Regular Member

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    I have 3 ideas:
    -You can create sort of a maze
    -hypnosis
    -insert a related video

    hehehe
    anyway I was thinking exactly about that and makes total sense. Offering the best content is the number 1 factor in order to have the 1st place on rankings forever. Time will pass and this will never change, because thats what google engineers works for: "rank the best content".

    regards
     
  5. ClThis

    ClThis Regular Member

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    Welcome to white hat marketing, where content is king and things go viral because they are influenced by user experience.

    There are a few simple tricks you can do in five minutes to decrease the load time of your site (should increase user time on site and decrease bounce rate but also, even if .0001 seconds faster Google likes)

    Also, use it as a control site and don't go crazy with it. Maybe add some unique new articles - focus on your other ones to bring in the hard money but this is probably a good one to play with new technique on. Props


    I left a site built for 2 years, very little optimization just to see what would happen and currently generating sales at $70 a sign up, nothing ever done. Rose by itself to the #1 and #3 spot for 2 keywords. Was something I set up and forgot about and it worked. 3-4 minute average on site, bounce rate 40%, nothing spectacular but when I hook it up with a content deliver system and redo some of the landing pages articles and onsite SEO it will be much better. For what it is, its great but could be better with less than a few hours of work
     
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    Last edited: Feb 6, 2011
  6. innovalist

    innovalist Supreme Member Premium Member

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    That's why its so important to include articles and SEO each and every page!
     
  7. howard_hughes

    howard_hughes Elite Member

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    SEO'd articles won't necessarily make them stay longer, unless your content interests them:)
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2011
  8. BH_Manic

    BH_Manic Junior Member

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    That is why I put some videos related to the niche.:)
     
  9. takeachance

    takeachance Power Member

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    I have talking about this for some time. It makes perfect sense from an algo point of view that if your content is engaging visitors will remain on the site and look around. If I was big G then then actions of a visitor once on your site would have a direct correlation to ranking - more time spent, more navigation around your site = better serp placement.

    After all its not rocket science is it?! I have a number of pillar sites the first of which is around 3 years old. I wrote lots (100+) unique and compelling content without paying any attention to KW density, or other on page factors simply good quality content. My bounce rate is very low (35% on average) and visitors stick around - no suprises this site continues to bring in a consistent amount of visitors without fail each and everyday. I also did not complete any backlinking campaigns but the content gets linked to anyway because its good.

    I hate to say it but in alot of cases G is right, just focus upon good quality content and over time, it will get recognised, linked and placement in the serps. The key is to generate good quality, engaging content. This also doesnt have to be done each and every day. I have left this site for months without new content and it makes no difference to serp placement at all. Every now and then I will create a new article which over time obtains ranking and visitors slowly increasing visitor numbers. They never decline though......
     
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  10. Tariq Ghazi

    Tariq Ghazi Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I agree on this one. Having good content that keeps your visitors busy is an algo point to for sure..
     
  11. verilix

    verilix Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I thought you were referring to the TV program when I came in to read it lol.
     
  12. mudbutt

    mudbutt Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Not everyone uses googles webmaster tools, cant see this being TOO big of a factor. However, those stats could easily be used against those who are running googles tools on their sites. I personally dont risk it.
     
  13. m0nster

    m0nster Senior Member

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    damn yea sometimes we get so busy marketing our sites and making them all technically appeasing so spiders love crawling all over it and we forget why sites are here in the first place, and the reason google helps ppl find em :p

    like the upload a video idea - easy. embed youtube video, no need for article necessarily. and embedded youtube vid isn't seen as copied content or anything by google
     
  14. howard_hughes

    howard_hughes Elite Member

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    Well "USER EXPERIENCE" is a BIG factor for Google. Sorry, but It's all about trust when it comes to Google. The better the user experience, the more trust they have on the publisher and the better CPC etc.

    RISK? If you are running adsense ads then they are already tracking the user habits. If you add analytics, it won't be a risk, but a way to succeed. Its a way to know how you got your visitors, how much time they spent on the site and where did they click.
     
  15. ClThis

    ClThis Regular Member

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    [​IMG]

    OVERALL Ranking Factors
    • 24% Trust/Authority of the Host Domain
    • 22% Link Popularity of the Specific Page
    • 20% Anchor Text of External Links
    • 15% On-Page Keyword Usage
    • 7% Traffic and Click-Through Data
    • 6% Social Graph Metrics
    • 5% Registration and Hosting Data


    Top 5 POSITIVE Ranking Factors
    • Keyword Focused Anchor Text from External Links
      73% very high importance
    • External Link Popularity (quantity/quality of external links)
      71% very high importance
    • Diversity of Link Sources (links from many unique root domains)
      67% very high importance
    • Keyword Use Anywhere in the Title Tag
      66% very high importance
    • Trustworthiness of the Domain Based on Link Distance from Trusted Domains (e.g. TrustRank, Domain mozTrust, etc.)
      66% very high importance


    Top 5 NEGATIVE Ranking Factors
    • Cloaking with Malicious/Manipulative Intent
      68% very high importance
    • Link Acquisition from Known Link Brokers/Sellers
      56% high importance
    • Links from the Page to Web Spam Sites/Pages
      51% moderate importance
    • Cloaking by User Agent
      51% moderate importance
    • Frequent Server Downtime & Site Inaccessibility
      51% moderate importance

    Source: SEOMoz 2 year report (new one coming soon!)
     
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    Last edited: Feb 8, 2011