Post Google Panda factors to think about besides Page Rank

Having a high Page Rank for your site is good, but it’s not the only factor that determines your website’s relevance in terms of search results.

What is the real end goal to having a successful site on the web?  To make more money, attract more visitors and readers right?!   It is impossible to know and understand every search metric and algorithm being used, since Google uses more than 200 to determine search engine result pages (SERP). In the post panda era, creating your sites content with the reader’s experience in mind is a good place to start.  Google Analytics is a helpful tool to use for measuring your site’s web traffic.

The more you think about the visitor experience when creating robust content and adding pictures the better off you will be. These metrics are important to look at for the user experience. In the post panda seo environment, the amount of time users stay on your website will play a role in how Google views your site. Seomoz did a whiteboard friday a few weeks ago about post panda and your site, they went into a lot detail about this subject.

“Finally, you are going to be optimizing around user and usage metrics. Things like, when people come to your site, generally speaking compared to other sites in your niche or ranking for your keywords, do they spend a good amount of time on your site, or do they go away immediately? Do they spend a good amount of time? Are they bouncing or are they browsing? If you have a good browse rate, people are browsing 2, 3, 4 pages on average on a content site, that’s decent. That’s pretty good. If they’re browsing 1.5 pages on some sites, like maybe specific kinds of news sites, that might actually be pretty good. That might be better than average. But if they are browsing like 1.001 pages, like virtually no one clicks on a second page, that might be weird. That might hurt you. Your click-through rate from the search results. When people see your title and your snippet and your domain name, and they go, “Ew, I don’t know if I want to get myself involved in that. They’ve got like three hyphens in their domain name, and it looks totally spammy. I’m not going to get involved.” Then that click-through rate is probably going to suffer and so are your rankings.” – Seomoz Rand Fishkin

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Below are a few definitions from Google web master’s latest blogs about this subject:

  1. Conversion rate
  2. Bounce rate
  3. Clickthrough rate (CTR)

Conversion rate

A “conversion” is when a visitor does what you want them to do on your website. A conversion might be completing a purchase, signing up for a mailing list, or downloading a white paper. Your conversion rate is the percentage of visitors to your site who convert (perform a conversion). This is a perfect example of a metric that, unlike PageRank, is directly tied to your business goals. When users convert they’re doing something that directly benefits your organization in a measurable way! Whereas your PageRank is both difficult to measure accurately, and can go up or down without having any direct effect on your business.

Bounce rate
A “bounce” is when someone comes to your website and then leaves without visiting any other pages on your site. Your bounce rate is the percentage of visits to your site where the visitor bounces. A high bounce rate may indicate that users don’t find your site compelling, because they come, take a look, and leave directly. Looking at the bounce rates of different pages across your site can help you identify content that’s underperforming and point you to areas of your site that may need work. After all, it doesn’t matter how well your site ranks if most searchers are bouncing off of it as soon as they visit.

Clickthrough rate (CTR)
In the context of organic search results, your clickthrough rate is how often people click on your site out of all the times your site gets shown in search results. A low CTR means that, no matter how well your site is ranking, users aren’t clicking through to it. This may indicate that they don’t think your site will meet their needs, or that some other site looks better. One way to improve your CTR is to look at your site’s titles and snippets in our search results: are they compelling? Do they accurately represent the content of each URL? Do they give searchers a reason to click on them? Here’s some advice for improving your snippets; the HTML suggestions section of Webmaster Tools can also point you to pages that may need help. Again, remember that it doesn’t matter how well your site ranks if searchers don’t want to click on.

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Conclusions about Page Rank and Search Engine Page Results factors to keep in mind.

PageRank is just one of many ranking factors used to determine ranking in search results.  Try to improve your website’s speed or loading page time.   Studies show faster sites create a happier user experience.   When a site responds slowly, visitors get impatience and spend less time there.  Sometimes using flash and image sliders can slow down your website.  These are just a few of the 200 metrics Google uses.  Of course relevance of a page is still the biggest factor in search results.   The anchor text of a link is usually far more important than whether it’s on a high PageRank page. And having lots of high quality backlinks is also important in search results.  If you really want to know what are the most important, relevant pages to get links from, forget PageRank. Think search rank. Search for the words you’d like to rank for. See what pages come up tops in Google. Those are the most important and relevant pages you want to seek links from. That’s because Google is explicitly telling you that on the topic you searched for, these are the best.  Feel free to visit our other blogs for more useful information.

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