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Type-in traffic - An important factor in Google Algo?

     
8:29 pm on Feb 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I haven't really seen people talking about type-in traffic in here or at other webmaster forums.

Does type-in traffic play a considerable role in determining site's authority? if not, why not? It's a pretty strong signal IMO.

It ain't hard for Google to determine which sites get how much type-in traffic (through Google Toolbar and Chrome and may be data from ISPs directly)
8:49 pm on Feb 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

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You're definitely thinking clearly with that idea. Google certainly does have access to a good sample of the clickstream data and there are many strong signals they can extract, including type-in traffic.

A lot of type-ins can be guesswork, too, and that adds some noise to the clickstream data. A related signal is the type of query Google identifies as having "navigational intention". We can see how important that is because Google now returns MANY results from that one most-likely domain: Google To Show More Results From a Domain [webmasterworld.com]

This kind of navigational search and type-in traffic is one signal involved in what webmasters call Google's emphasis on "brands".
9:07 pm on Feb 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

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imho usage data is one of the most important undervalued factors. i am always surprised it isnt talked about more.
9:16 pm on Feb 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

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You know it's mentioned anytime more than 1 1/2 SEs are in the same room. I think the problem is that it's one of the untestable signals, or rather the scale needed to test is just too danged big.

And for heaven's sake, goodroi, will you please start using the shift key? You're no longer the fresh-faced kid; you're all growned up now, son.
10:51 pm on Feb 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I have thought for awhile that might be a big factor just form looking at my stats.

For high traffic sites, that seems like a metric that would be hard for owners to manipulate.
11:15 am on Feb 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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When my clients do large TV advertising campaigns I see their type in traffic go way up as well as more people type their brand name or site name into google search.

Interestingly, there appears to be some correlation to higher non-branded serach engine traffic during these periods of advertising. The effect is small, I see a 5% lift in non-brand SEO referals while the ads are running.

It could be caused by any of the following:
1) Google using advertising or brand searches as a direct factor that boosts rankings
2) Brand recognition increases click through rate from the SERPs without any change in ranking
3) The advertising spurs people to do searches for products and services in addition to the brand.
9:17 pm on Feb 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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A lot of people type the URL into the Google search box too. I would imagine this is also used in a similar way - and easier to capture.

I see quite a number of referals in my logs from the URL typed as a search term, however even though this steadily increases (just a few each week) I don't detect any ranking improvements correlating. Perhaps it's more obvious when scaled up.