Time on site may indicate a visitors willingness to hang around. Longer articles, if well written, might help.
I noticed many Yahoo sports articles (baseball, drafted my fantasy team last week) recently started showing completely unrelated but currently popular videos at the very bottom of each page, perhaps in an effort to keep visitors on the page just a little longer?
I also noticed that they stopped adding multi-page buttons and now print the article out on one page with a lot of eye catching unrelated links sprinkled in each to possibly help lower bounce rate?
If anyone should know what search engines look for it would be the news section on a search engine site, right?
I'd like to think rankings was 100% visitor reaction/behavior driven but it's not. In terms of SEO however, what do spam sites have in common that I can actually avoid? Anything worth actively trying to fix or... just write good content?