Category Archives: SEO Crap

Pubcon Day 1 – Woooo!!! Edition

I must say that I do feel lucky to be able to attend events like Pubcon.  To be around some of the smartest guys in the industry and learn from the best is an absolute treat.  The best part though, is when a childhood hero makes an appearance at said show and you get to meet him.  If you know me at all, you’ll know that I’m talking about the stylin’, profilin’, limousine riding, jet flying, kiss-stealing, space mountain ride giving, wheelin’ n’ dealin’ son of a gun known to one and all as Ric Flair.

Ric Flair at Pubcon

I don’t get starstruck very often.  I grew up in the Valley, so I’d see celebs all the time (everyone needs to buy groceries eventually).  Eddie van Halen with Valerie and Wolfgang, Michael Richards, the entire cast of Melrose Place (the OG, not the new one), George Wendt, the Zappas, Dustin Hoffman, you get the idea.  Ric Flair though, that’s an entirely different story.

I grew up watching WWF and NWA/WCW as a kid.  WCW/NWA in the old days was so different than WWF and the only place you could see Ric Flair was on Superstation TBS.  I loved to hate the Four Horsemen and getting to meet someone who I’ve watched for the last 30 years is completely freaking awesome.

As for the rest of the show, far more good than bad.  They seem to have weeded out all the lazy ass presenters from a few years ago who would just recycle the same slide decks year after year while retaining some of the best in the biz (Eric Enge from Stone Temple and Bruce Clay to name a couple).  I can’t say enough good things about Eric Enge’s one man show talking all things on page and off page SEO and I greatly enjoyed Helen Edwards from Wordstream discussing the proper way to create online ads with emotional appeal.

I do have to give a special shout out to The Hoth as well.  Bringing Ric Flair to their booth was such a wonderful, random surprise.  I will have to learn more about the company over the next couple days.

Posted in SEO Crap, Wrestling.

User Behavior Isn’t A Ranking Factor? So Sayeth the Google…


Yesterday, John Mueller (the guy who’s essentially become the face of Google while Matt Cutts has been away) was asked whether user behavior on your website is a ranking factor in a Google Webmaster Hangout.  Mueller’s answer was as follows:

So in general, I don’t think we even see what people are doing on your web site. If they are filling out forms or not, if they are converting and actually buying something… So if we can’t see that, then that is something we cannot take into account. So from my point of view, that is not something I’d really treat as a ranking factor.

But of course if people are going to your web site and filling out forms or signing up for your service or newsletter, then generally that is a sign that you are doing the right things. That people are going there and finding it interesting enough to take a step to leave their information as well. So I’d see that as a positive thing in general, but I wouldn’t assume it is something that Google would pick up as a ranking factor and use to kind of promote your web site in search automatically.

I’m calling bullshit on this.  I’m not a tinfoil hatter by any means, but the idea of Google not looking at user behavior just doesn’t ring true to me at all.  And what’s with the “I don’t think” stuff?  Plausible deniability?

Obviously only the folks at Google know what the ranking factors are, but I find it extremely hard to believe that things like bounce rate, session length, session depth and positive actions (filling out forms, placing orders, etc) have no impact on rank.

The whole point of of Google constantly changing and updating their algorithm is to keep moving forward and improving, right?  So why wouldn’t Google look at user behavior to determine page quality as compared to the term being searched?  The whole point of Panda was to reward and rank higher quality sites and black hatters have proven time and time again that they can rank with shitty spun content, so why wouldn’t Google use these data points that they collect to determine relevance?

Now I know that not everyone has Google Analytics code installed on their servers (although most sites do), so I suppose it would be unfair to reward certain actions, but consider this scenario:

  • User does a search
  • User clicks a link from the search results
  • User sees the site and bounces (leaves within seconds of arriving) by hitting the back button
  • User clicks on the next search result
  • User doesn’t go back to the search results

This seems like a fairly clear signal that the first link didn’t have information that matched the search query while the second link did.  If this happens over and over again, are we really expected to believe that Google will choose to ignore something that is so clearly a behavior resulting from a site not returning information that is relevant to the search term?  Didn’t think so.

It seems that I’m not the only one with this opinion:



Posted in SEO Crap.