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Direct Type In Traffic - Is It The Strongest Ranking Signal Now?
kidder




msg:4320279
 12:38 am on Jun 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

This is the one that seems to be exciting me the most these days, when I look at my refs and I see that direct type in I assume we must be doing something right. We don't market the site in any other way other than our organic SEO efforts so each type in is almost always a repeat visit.

Although direct type in traffic can be driven by a variety of marketing initiatives its not common practice for spammers to invest in mainstream media to push their MFA's. My thinking with website development is leaning more and more towards getting the visitor to visit us again and less about a speedy transition to an ad click or sale. Keeping our users engaged has become a big part of our focus, I'm not just thinking content I'm also thinking functionality, what unique slant can we offer, research tools and the like. If the users keep pushing your URL I think your on the right path in the long term.

 

aristotle




msg:4320293
 1:14 am on Jun 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

I agree that this is probably an important ranking signal. Sometimes they search for the site's name, and sometimes they type in the URL. I think both of these count. (But one problem with the URL is that sometimes they miss-spell it)

Tallon




msg:4320318
 2:10 am on Jun 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

I agree with this and it could be one reason why brands are doing so well...they would have higher type in counts than the average site.

deadsea




msg:4320432
 11:47 am on Jun 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

It appears to me that type in traffic may help you rank for your brand name, but not for the products you sell.

I've been watching the SERPs for "business widgets". There are lots of big brands that sell consumer grade versions. There are also a couple companies that specialize in high volume specifically for businesses that all the businesses use. I'd expect the SERPs to be:
consumerbrandA.com
businessbrandB.com
consumerbrandC.com
businessbrandD.com
consumerbrandE.com
consumerbrandF.com

Instead the SERPs are:
businesswidgets.com
business<storetype>.com (the only national consumer brand that makes the rankings because their name matches one of the two words)
spamsiteA.com
spamsiteB.com
spamsiteC.com

The interesting thing to me is the "related searches" section at the bottom of the SERPs has all right. It has a mix of consumer and business brands that I would expect to see in the main results.

Unless your brand name matches what you sell, you are out of luck from any boost from type in traffic. God help you if you are non-consumer facing and sell only high volume to a limited number of customers.

wheel




msg:4320433
 11:55 am on Jun 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Yeah, type in traffic for brand names isn't likely a good indicator of product searches, or regional searches. People looking for las vegas condos or the best mortgage rates aren't going to be looking for a specific company. Brand is nice, but it's not what people are looking for when they're doing product research.

agent_x




msg:4320451
 12:50 pm on Jun 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

If it's not a quality signal, it damned well should be.

wheel




msg:4320456
 1:01 pm on Jun 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

If it's not a quality signal, it damned well should be.

For my keyword rich domains, I agree.

For the rest of the world, brand <> quality. Mom and pop shops frequently have higher quality websites than brands. I know I do.

aristotle




msg:4320457
 1:11 pm on Jun 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

I think the OP is talking about REPEAT Visitors who remember the site's name or URL from a previous visit to the site. This has nothing to do with already established brands.

Ummon




msg:4320569
 3:04 pm on Jun 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

I wish this was true, over a quarter of my visitors go directly to my site. My repeats are sky high. Still no love from google

aristotle




msg:4320574
 3:14 pm on Jun 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

I wish this was true, over a quarter of my visitors go directly to my site. My repeats are sky high. Still no love from google




Do they get to your site by typing its name or URL into the search box? That's what we're trying to talk about in this thread.

lucy24




msg:4320714
 7:57 pm on Jun 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

How many entry methods can google tell apart?

--typing the name directly into the address bar
--pasting the name in from some other source
--bookmark
--any of the above, if coming from an ISP that doesn't send referrers
--search via some other search engine
--google search for actual sitename
--google search for exact business name
--generic google search

If you don't enter via google, do they even know (or care) that you exist?

wheel




msg:4320715
 8:01 pm on Jun 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

They almost certainly do. How many people have Google toolbar installed, or a PR indicator.

aristotle




msg:4320741
 9:03 pm on Jun 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Let me try to give an example of what I think we're talking about:

Suppose I launch a new website on the domain wacky-widgets.com, and give it the name "Wacky Widgets". Also, suppose that in the past there have been very few searches on Google for the term Wacky Widgets or the term wacky-widgets.com.

Now suppose I do some link-building and promotion for my new Wacky Widgets site, and begin to get some visitors.

Now suppose the Google search page starts seeing searches for the terms Wacky Widgets and wacky-widgets.com, and that the number of these searches increases over time in proportion to the amount of traffic my site receives. That's the kind of ranking signal I thing we're talking about in this thread.

kidder




msg:4320765
 9:56 pm on Jun 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Close enough aristotle, and here is another thought I had on the subject. I have a couple of clients that I have worked with from start up - mainly bricks and mortar "widget brokers" for want of a better term. These guys spend up big week after week on offline print and TV media and they push their brand in a big way. My SEO input was minimal, what I noticed is that they both got full "sitelinks" faster than any other web property I've worked with.

koan




msg:4320779
 10:19 pm on Jun 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Now suppose the Google search page starts seeing searches for the terms Wacky Widgets and wacky-widgets.com, and that the number of these searches increases over time in proportion to the amount of traffic my site receives.


It happened to me, and now I see sites popping left and right for the search term "Wacky Widgets" because they think it has become a new popular term, but people are actually just trying to reach my site.

diberry




msg:4321309
 9:56 pm on Jun 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

I wish this was true, over a quarter of my visitors go directly to my site. My repeats are sky high. Still no love from google


I have a site that gets a fair amount of type-in/direct traffic. It's an issue site, so it has passionate users that come back all the time. It's got 10 times as many comments as articles. Unfortunately, this is not a group that clicks "like" buttons as often as I'd prefer, but socially, the site is strong.

But the Google algo has never figured out what the site's about. Most of my Google traffic has a wasted journey - my site's not what they wanted, and judging by the trollish comments they leave, they're not the visitor I was looking for, either.

So if your site's doing that well on the social factors, either there's something else wrong (in Google's opinion), or maybe the algo just isn't "smart" enough to understand what's being said on the site. It's like sites that are pro-[political party].

This, I think, is where social networking is for the win, and why Google's so scared of them. Facebook et al use human brains instead of an algo, and humans know what other humans want better than an algo does. SN sites have sent that funny little site of mine way more happy users over the years than Google ever did.

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