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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!
It fully completely, and unconditionally explains florida
Brett I remember you posted something to this extent some time ago, are you suggesting that Google is collecting data from toolbar users to establish ranking criteria?
What exactly do you mean?
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?
joined:Dec 29, 2003
joined:Dec 29, 2003
[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.