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Can the average visit time influence search results?
jetteroheller




msg:3789537
 10:47 am on Nov 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

I just try a new layout.

I have done also much load time optimzations.

When a javascript is loaded in the head section, rendering the page can only start after loading the javascript.

So I moved loading the javascript to the end of the page.

I tested the results with a very slow internet connection.

The difference between the 2 versions had been amazing.

But I can see also the results in Google Analytics.
The average visit time decreased.

Maybe because the visitor sees faster, that this is not exactly what he searched.

So there are 2 reasons for a low average visti time

* The page is bad
* The page loads very fast

Any rumors about, that average visit time could have an influence on search results?

 

grippo




msg:3789605
 2:14 pm on Nov 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi j

This is what this article, by Aaron Shear, talk about. I found this interesting:

Google's Algorithm is Shifting [searchenginewatch.com]

[edited by: tedster at 6:04 pm (utc) on Nov. 19, 2008]
[edit reason] add link [/edit]

tedster




msg:3789784
 6:09 pm on Nov 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

* The page is bad
* The page loads very fast

Exactly - the same metric can have two different, and even opposing causes. That makes it very "noisy" and unlikely to be useful for ranking, IMO.

BradleyT




msg:3790602
 4:55 pm on Nov 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

I just bought a domain an hour ago so I searched for a coupon code before completing checkout. I spent about 4 seconds on the #1 result because the code was so easy to find.

It was a perfect SERP result yet I immediately left. I would hope this doesn't factor in to the rankings for a variety of reasons.

ChicagoFan67




msg:3790792
 8:51 pm on Nov 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

.....then there are those sites, you think have what you want, but you have to look long and hard before realizing that they are just full of rubbish/built for advertizing.

Robert Charlton




msg:3795843
 8:11 am on Nov 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing a Google Finance result in the serps where Google's not updated a change made by the company and the link is returning an error message. Inside of a few days, the result has slipped from the 1-3 range to positions 9-10.

internetheaven




msg:3795940
 11:19 am on Nov 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

.....then there are those sites, you think have what you want, but you have to look long and hard before realizing that they are just full of rubbish/built for advertizing.

Amen to that! Same goes for "depth of visit" - I've scrolled through dozens of pages before realising they were just doorway pages for slighty related products!

A badly designed site is generally the one you end up having to scroll and click through. Good sites get you what you're looking for as quickly and concisely as possible. Even commercial sites as if the product is right, you're off the site and in the checkout process quickly ... it's the bad sites that you ummmm and ahhhh over whether to buy or not ...

Simsi




msg:3795964
 12:41 pm on Nov 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

I think time on site does make a difference, but probably only above a certain threshold...ie 5 mins. My reasoning is that I launched a site with sticky content (free games) and within 6-8 weeks of launch it was getting pages right at the top of SERPS for the game names - even the popular "branded" ones - and good traffic in a very competitive area.

I've launched other sites in the same sector before now (without free games) and never had results like this. 55% stay over 5 mins, 40% stay for 20 mins or longer and 25% stay over an hour. Repeat visits are around 40% daily.

Additionally worth noting is that text content is minimal - perhaps only 100 words on average. I thought initially it was the site design as it was an experiment in semantic markup. But I cloned the structure for another site with more standard text-based content and nada. Can't get a SERP worth talking about to save my life right now (only 6 weeks in though):)

[edited by: Simsi at 12:48 pm (utc) on Nov. 28, 2008]

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