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How are personalized rankings affected by visitor browsing habits?
Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4520037
 8:49 am on Nov 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

Personalized results is the art of returning a site in serps that a user is most likely to want to visit based on their browsing history and other factors. Are visitor metrics modifying personal search results even further?

Boy, this question is hard to word so read this scenario first please.

Scenario: 2 websites, both in same niche, both relatively equal in terms of backlinks, traffic and site quality.

If site A gets visitors who are enthusiasts of the subject and spend their time browsing related top quality forums and social groups on the subject while site B seems to pull in a lot of visitors who also happen to visit black hat forums and warez sites... is site A likely to see a ranking increase within personal searches?

Analytics shows up traffic numbers but nothing, that I am aware of, show you your visitors browsing habits so how does one gauge how much of an effect visitor browsing behavior has on your site?

To take the thought deeper, if your site is labeled a shopping site or such because of affiliate links but you steadily pull in traffic that doesn't convert how will this impact personalized search results?

It seems to me that, moving forward, it's not so much how much traffic you get but more who is visiting your site that matters. Without hard data on how well you're doing on that front where do you start to improve your personalized results?

 

tedster




msg:4520635
 5:37 am on Nov 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

You know, I don't think we know for sure just how much of the total "browsing history" Google is collecting. This is especially so since they have categorically stated they do not collect data from their Chrome browser to personalize search results.

In fact, Microsoft/Bing have talked more about this kind of browsing data than Google. To a good degree, SEOs have been guessing and assuming many things that are not established as fact. What we know for sure is that personalized search results depend on the individual's SEARCH history.

To take the thought deeper, if your site is labeled a shopping site or such because of affiliate links but you steadily pull in traffic that doesn't convert how will this impact personalized search results?

It seems to me that, moving forward, it's not so much how much traffic you get but more who is visiting your site that matters. Without hard data on how well you're doing on that front where do you start to improve your personalized results?

There is something to this, IMO. What you can see is how your visitors are interacting with your site, and whether or not it directly benefits rankings or not, you can directly work to improve your user engagement in many ways through many kinds of analytics.

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