• http://justinmcgill.net/ Justin McGill

    The quote @nickstamoulis:disqus pointed out was also what stood out to me. Never thought of it like that.

  • Tony Griego

    Hey Jonah, very insightful thoughts on the algo. I think webmasters and SEOs often forget that Google is not always “doing something” to their site. Sometimes it’s Google tuning THEIR search engine.

  • Chris Koszo

    Engagement should be one of the first things on an SEO’s mind. Not the other way around. Good stuff.

  • Tad Miller

    Jonah pretty much cataloged what little has ever been said about user behavior’s impact on ranking algorithms. Google has always been especially secretive about this kind of stuff, because they don’t want anybody trying to automate or mimic searcher behavior on a large scale.

    I’ve been thinking this kind of stuff is weighted heavier now than it ever has before (I’ve got no data to back that up, it’s just a hunch), but the closest you will ever get Google to acknowledge that is when they say just create good content and it will take care of itself. If you put on your tin-foil hat and try to decode that, it means that if you have good content that meets our conversion goals for search results the searcher behavior in interacting with that content will give us the data signal we need to rank that content higher.

    The Chrome browser is likely one of the the mechanisms for recording that data.

  • Todd McDonald

    Good Branding = Good SEO. Well Done Jonah

  • https://plus.google.com/113259068312528852444 Steve Shaw

    Hi Jonah, could you clarify how improving audience engagement differs from improving your site’s bounce rate? Is there just more in the mix, i.e. social shares and so on?

  • Jonahstein

    Steve, bounce rate is certainly an important metric but it is also essential to think in terms of engagement action by the user such as copy/paste, email signup, social sharing, downloads, etc.

    I like to start the process by installing CrazyEgg or another heatmap/click tracking tool and focus on what users are actually doing on the site. This challenges your assumptions about intent and identifies ways to streamline the user experience.

  • mathewmakio

    Rubbish. I’ve worked on over 5 sites and only owned one of them. They all received around the same “5 second or less” results which always seemed really high. It’s a fact that many people just click around and if you knew your own stats properly you’d probably be shocked to see high it is.

    reducing this time can be done artificially, and it would only be a flawed system to include this as a significant ranking factor.

    For that reason it would only ever be a really small percentage of a ranking factor, most of which you’ll never even notice. Focus on the other 200 ranking signals! keeping in mind you obviously want to create quality content.