Bounce Rate as a Ranking Signal

I received an e-mail from a reader who was interested in a post talking about bounce rate, and how that might be used by search engines as a possible ranking factor. The concept is that a higher bounce rate would be seen as an indication that a site is of relatively poor quality. For example, does a bounce rate of more than 70% mean that you have a bad site? That's pretty high, right? Bounce Rate Definition First let's start with a definition of what it means. There are two possible definitions - one ... Read More >

3 Surprises in the Google PageRank Update

Now this is beginning to look like a complete update. Previously on Search Engine Watch I reported that many new pages that had been added shortly after the last update had not been updated. Now those pages are beginning to show PageRank. Clearly this is a general update. The big news remains the apparent punishment in PageRank terms of sites which are selling links. What surprises me about this is not that Google did this, but three other things: It surprises me that they missed so many sites that ... Read More >

Problems with Anchor Text as a Ranking Signal

Periodically you see articles that talk about what the most important are for search engine ranking. One of the really good ones is the SEOmoz Search Engine Ranking Factors survey. Nearly every such article identifies anchor text used in links to your page as a major ranking factor. For example, only one factor got a higher score then anchor text (Keyword use in the Title tag got a higher score). But there is trouble in Wonderland. There are problems with placing a lot of weight on this particular ... Read More >

Live Search Local, Maps, and Mobile

Today's post will cover the Local, Maps and Mobile search presentation made by Microsoft at the Searchification event on September 26, 2007. We have also written a post about the Core Improvements in Live Search that you can also read. 1. The presentation was made by Eric Jorgensen, a 13 year veteran of Microsoft: One of the first things that Eric spoke about was Local Search, and the prevalent nature of local searches: As you can see, the data shows that local search queries make up a huge ... Read More >

Discussion with Matt Cutts

During my recent trip out to California I had the opportunity to site down and speak with Google's head of the Webspam team, Matt Cutts. It was enjoyable to chat with Matt, and you can see a transcript of the Matt Cutts interview here. The major topics we covered were: Google's tracking of Javascript encoded or redirected links NoFollow, NoIndex, and Robots.txt Hidden text Signals that Google can use to rate site quality, other than links Check out the interview, and if you would like to comment ... Read More >

Core Improvements in Live Search

This post will provide some more info on the September 26, 2007 Searchification event that Microsoft put on. In particular, this post will focus on the core search engine improvements part of the presentation. I will provide some brief comments on each announcement, as well as pictures of the speakers. 1. Introduction by Brad Goldberg. Brad Goldberg, general manager of the Windows Client Product Management Group at Microsoft, who manages the search team from a business perspective, started things off ... Read More >