TheOptimizationIdiot - 4:08 am on Apr 14, 2013 (gmt 0) [edited by: TheOptimizationIdiot at 4:27 am (utc) on Apr 14, 2013]
Sure Google are also including some smaller sites into the commercial searches too, but the brands are getting more and more coverage...
I can't disagree, but I do have to wonder how much of that is based on their visitor behavior?
It's an interesting question I think. I've seen sites with pages that obviously "end the search" do very well, but other pages that "aren't quite it" tank, so it really makes me wonder how much is them "coding something in" and how much is "positive user signals" when it comes to brands ranking well.
(I'm sure if you've been doing this long and paying attention to queries you've seen the ones where you go, "Huh? WTF landed them on that page?" knowing there's no way they found what they wanted. Also, I've been known to do the "distracted fun time" for queries that could reinforce rankings based on behavior, like when I land on weather.com for some reason and get distracted by the "coolest bridges from around the world" and don't go back to searching for 10 mins. I'm almost certain that could send a "false good result" signal to an algo.)
...we have one of those 90% bounce rate sites too and it IS the top two and three listings depending on the query... it ends searches.
I think that's Very Important now and will become Very Very Important in the future. (I might have said it before, but I think user behavior is or will become the new links.)
Let me add a bit:
When people were talking about bounce rate being important, I kept looking at my stats and thinking "Huh? My bounce rate was 95.6% last month and I'm #2 behind the site with the EMD I wrote the information for, and you're trying to tell me if it was lower, somehow I'd outrank my own information on an EMD? I don't buy it..."
To me a low bounce rate (like so many say is important) hasn't ever been anywhere near as impactful as the search ending. In fact, I try for a high bounce rate, because as long as people don't need to search again (it should be obvious from the query) it means Google did their job and I did mine, so our ideas of "the right answer meshed together" and the searcher found what they were looking for in one click... How is that a bad result for either of us?
[edited by: TheOptimizationIdiot at 4:27 am (utc) on Apr 14, 2013]