Are User Behavior Metrics a Ranking Factor?
There has been a lot of speculation lately about whether Google takes user behavior metrics (click through rate, bounce rate, dwell time, etc.) into consideration when ranking search results. Stirring the pot, Google representatives have given inconsistent responses to whether user behavior is a ranking factor leaving SEOs on their own to experiment.
This week, Masha Maksimava, wrote an enlightening article on the issue—a must read for anyone unsure about whether or not user engagement is considered a ranking factor.
Spoiler alert: Based on experiments and several statements from Google search engineers, Google must use factors such as click through rate, dwell time and bounce to rank search results. Pages with higher CTRs and dwell times signal to Google that users found what they were searching for, so, in turn, Google will likely rank these pages higher in the search results because they offer searchers a good experience.
Link Building Is Not Dead
In a powerful article, link building expert Eric Ward boldly made the case for manual link building and why it will never go out of style. Putting to rest the controversial “link building is dead” remarks of many SEOs, Ward explained why link building cannot be automated as building quality links requires manual outreach, in-depth research and personal, genuine relationships.
A lot can be learned from this link building article, so check it out!
Penguin Update is Upon Us, Make Sure You’re Ready
According to Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, Gary Illyes, the nest Google Penguin update is scheduled to hit before the end of 2015.
What does this mean? If you were hit by the last Penguin update (in 2014) you now have the chance to recover. This update will be a real-time version, so as Google finds spammy links, sites will be impacted immediately. On the flip side, when those sites remove spammy links they should see a recovery immediately.
You might be asking yourself, “How do I make sure my site does not get penalized?” To get ready for the update, we recommend doing an audit of all inbound links to make sure they aren’t spam links. While it may be time consuming, discovering spammy links and getting rid of them before the next update can have huge impacts on your search rankings.