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This 107 message thread spans 4 pages: < < 107 ( 1 2 3 [4]     
Google algo moves away from links, towards traffic patterns
travisk




msg:764208
 11:11 pm on Apr 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

Does anyone else think that Google's actions over the last few years indicate a gradual change in the importance of traffic patterns over inbound links?

Think about it... the Google Toolbar, Google Analytics and click monitoring on the SERPs give Google an incredible picture of where people are going, what pages they stay on, what sites they frequently return to and where they go when they leave.

We know that Google is pushing the toolbar onto consumers. They're paying Dell a billion dollars to install it onto 100 million consumer PC's. Imagine what the behavior patterns of 100 million Internet users could tell Google about a particular site's value.

What scares me is that this will push the blackhats from link spamming over to the busy spyware world. Imagine if I could pay some shady company to have the web browsers of 100,000 pc's randomly click on my #10 ranked link and stay on my site until Google decides that I should be #1. Who cares if these users buy anything on my site. I just want Google to THINK that they're using it. Will Google start bundling anti-spyware with the toolbar to stop this?

Am I on to something, or has this been going on for years?

[edited by: tedster at 8:38 pm (utc) on April 6, 2006]

 

grant




msg:764298
 4:14 am on Apr 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

2by4:

If a large percentage of searchers return to the search page and click on the next option, it's quite clear that site a is not what the searchers wanted.

This is incorrect. All it says is that the SERP description was not was the user wanted, not THE SITE, as the user hasn't seen the site.

Just as PPCers know that the text ad affects CTR, we know the SERP description does as well.

Therefore an assumption has been made about the site, whereas the description in the index is really the determing factor.

2by4




msg:764299
 5:22 am on Apr 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

grant, if this is how you like looking at things, don't let me stop you, it makes no difference to me at all. I'm more concerned with just getting a decent working idea of what a good site is or isn't, as that changes in google's eyes.

Nice points dataguy.

deliriumtremens




msg:764300
 6:28 am on Apr 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

I notice that everyone is guessing about how Google may interpret or misinterpret usage patterns, and how many mistakes they may make that will penalise sites with good navigation, easy to find content etc.

It seems to me that there's no reason Google wouldn't continue the tradition of using studies to learn how people surf. Why wouldn't they run tests to see how people surf on sites that they think are good/bad when searching for particular information?

It's been done before, after all.

internetheaven




msg:764301
 8:33 pm on Apr 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

I really think you guys credit Google with more sophistication than they really have.

Amen to that.

Remember, we look at it from an "improving organic search results to benefit users worldwide and offer them the right service and/or information they seek".

Google looks at it from a "make the search results look at least like we tried and make sure the adwords ads are as bright and shiny as possible".

All the ideas you're coming out with are quite good and would probably really help create a brilliant organic search engine ... but Google isn't into that anymore. Someone should trawl this thread, create a search engine based on that and charge a subscription to use it. I would pay if it meant I could actually find things on the web for once and be guaranteed that the page won't be covered with eBay affiliate ads .....

europeforvisitors




msg:764302
 9:14 pm on Apr 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

I really think you guys credit Google with more sophistication than they really have.

I've seen the opposite phenomenon: Webmaster World members seizing on one thing (anchor text, cross-linking, use of H1 tags, or whatever) and forgetting that any one thing is likely to be credited or penalized in context with many other factors.

cabbie




msg:764303
 7:56 pm on Apr 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

I really think you guys credit Google with more sophistication than they really have.

That is so true.
I see so many 1-3 page sites show up no#1 for very competitive terms, it puts to bed myths about traffic counting.
When Google cannot tell expired domains that have suddenly changed focus from political to adult.When google lists a edu.site in its serps for both educational and adult keywords ,when the host has taken that site down for a month now due to complaints it was being used as a pron site.When Google lose quality sites for no reason, when google sucks at spam detection as bad as it does, when google gives sites pr5 and up that have no inbound links, when google list good original pages in its supplemental index and indexes non-existent pages in its main index, you start to realise this search engine is either very much broken or not very sophisticated at all

texasville




msg:764304
 10:35 pm on Apr 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Amen, Cabbie.

ZoltanTheBold




msg:764305
 10:55 pm on Apr 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

cabbie you have my vote.

Don't forget the almost insane number of BETA products they are flooding the market with. Total crap designed to get headlines - enhancement behaviour we get penalized for.

The sad fact is Google are growing as a brand, even while their core specialism is beginning to atrophy. Without a serious competitor on the horizon they can do what they like.

Jane_Doe




msg:764306
 12:07 am on Apr 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

I get the sense that my rankings don't correlate to number of links and/or quality of links as much as they used to, but certainly links still seem to be a major ranking factor. However, in 5 years down the line I doubt that links will count for as much as they do now. I suspect all of the search engines will move to ranking factors that are less easily manipulated.

wmuser




msg:764307
 8:49 pm on Apr 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

Some nice ideas about SEO are shared in this thread
I guess "opinion about website based on visitor opinion" will become the most reliable source for search engines to value a particular website

soapystar




msg:764308
 8:57 pm on Apr 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

if wiki can rank for every subject under the sun simply by having the words on a single page that have no external inbounds and whether or not the page is actually about the subject..if they can rank above sites dedicated to the subject with good ontopic inbounds just how important are ontopic links?

annej




msg:764309
 4:13 am on Apr 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

if wiki can rank for every subject under the sun simply by having the words on a single page that have no external inbounds

I think internal links are still pretty powerful. Big sites still rule. Not only wiki but that site that is "about" stuff.

Plus even though the specific page may not have much of any links from outside the site overall has tons of inbound links.

soapystar




msg:764310
 8:26 am on Apr 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

but im not talking about pages with topical internal links.....im saying simply having the words on a page...where the page is NOT about the phrase..where the link anchor does NOT have the phrase....the page ranks FOR the phrase...it ranks above sites dedicated to the phrase...

Trajano




msg:764311
 8:13 am on Apr 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

A ranking system mainly based on traffic patterns would led to a *STATIC RANKING* results for the most popular keywords. High traffic sites would improve thier ranking. Therefore their traffic would increase even more, reinforcing the high ranking.
On the other hand,low trafic sites would loose ranking. Therefore they would loose more traffic and finally would loose their ranking again.
It is a "retro-fed" system. You would not be able to put your new site on top, unless you get first a big traffic using other methods different from Google.

otnot




msg:764312
 2:26 pm on Apr 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Trustrank?

voices




msg:764313
 7:34 pm on Apr 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Okay lets try an experiment. Everyone do a search for George Foreman Grill, click on the number 1 link then go right back to the serps click on a different link and stay. Lets see if we can knock the number 1 listing down a notch. Big A is always up on top.

europeforvisitors




msg:764314
 8:01 pm on Apr 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

A ranking system mainly based on traffic patterns would led to a *STATIC RANKING* results for the most popular keywords. High traffic sites would improve thier ranking.

Why assume that "traffic patterns" is a synonym for "raw traffic," or that Google would be foolish enough to use the equivalent of Alexa traffic rankings to sort the results in its SERPs?

"Traffic patterns" can mean a lot of things that have been discussed in this thread, such as how users behave when they visit a page (perhaps in comparison to other pages of the same type). Time on page, page views per visit, whether users tend to return, etc. are just a few of the metrics that could fall under the heading of "traffic patterns"--and, of course, traffic patterns would never be the sole factor in determining how search results should rank.

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