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I'm not suggesting that Google's results are listed in order from high to low traffic; rather, in the spirit of a points system, Alexa traffic is now highly weighted. For my industry, this would neatly explain the disappearance of all the little niche sites (spot-on content, but low traffic) in favor of big news, directory and mega-shopping sites (barely relevant content, but high traffic). So, the little mom-and-pop shop selling fuzzy blue widgets gets points for content, but loses Google ranking due to their 1,234,567 Alexa rank; while the BBC article mentioning the words fuzzy, blue and widgets somewhere on the page skyrockets to the top by virtue of their #26 Traffic Rank.
For the post-Florida top 20 results in my industry, no conclusions can be drawn based on backlinks, OOP, or even content; there is always an exception. However, most sites are in the top 100,000 Alexa ranks, and none of the sites are below #350,000.
Does anyone else find this to be true in the SERPS they are analyzing? Any input is greatly appreciated!
Even if it doesn't, both Google's toolbar and Alexa are tracking a theoretically random subset of users to extrapolate a ranking, so one would expect roughly parallel results.
So the question is, does this high-traffic weighting theory, which can be analyzed using Alexa stats (as an approximation of Google's traffic rank), hold true for a wide range of post-Florida SERPS?
[edited by: antrat at 5:50 am (utc) on Jan. 10, 2004]
The sites dominating are older ones and some new ones that follow a stricrt regime... seems like older indexed sites can get away with anything :P
I absolutely believe that Google is using an Alexa-like traffic ranking obtained via their tool bar as a factor in the SERPS.
This would explain, or at least be consistent with, everything that I am seeing in the SERPS.
If this is the case, I am sure that Google will not disclose a site's traffic ranking.
Does anyone of a sense for how many active Alexa toolbars there are versus Google toolbars?
The question I have is why would Google use such info as a variable in their algo if their main goal is to produce relevant SERP's? IMO, I don't see a real strong correlation between relevance and traffic. The other problem I have with this theory is that many of the inner pages of large sites that show up are very obscure and are buried deep down. I would guess that many of these pages receive very little traffic, yet they rank well just by being associated with a dominant site.
However, with some irrelevant site listings that remain week after week, I can still see no evidence of alexa data being used.