First off, we just want to thank everyone for attending the SEO webinar on Mar. 20. Even though the webinar started at 2pm ET, we still only had enough time left for a few questions.
NetElixir University is all about sharing knowledge and with that in mind, here is the Q&A segment of the webinar designed to answer all the questions you have about whether your website’s SEO is stuck in the past.
Q: To what extent do you feel Google uses click-through rates and bounce rate as a quality signal? Do you think that bounce or time on site would be more important for ranking?
A: According to Google, bounce rate is not used as a ranking factor. However, it is used as a key on-site SEO metric for determining the success of your site and should always be monitored so you can track and improve your site accordingly.
As far as click-through-rate is concerned, it’s not entirely clear whether it is or isn’t a ranking factor. However, it is a powerful metric and should be taken very seriously when gauging the success of your site.
Q: Do you find that the quantity of content within a subject area is important? In other words, is it easier to rank for keywords if you have numerous pages within a subject area?
A: We strongly believe in quality over quantity as a general practice. A streamlined website that delivers great information to the end user is much better than a website with a lot of primarily useless information only there to meet the needs of search engines.
Q: How does typing in your web address: help you see all your info on Google?
A: Typing in site: lets you quickly see the number of website pages indexed by Google. This is important to know because it can be a clear indicator of your site’s health. For instance, if your website has 10,000 products and pages, and Google only has 4,000 products indexed, that is a clear sign there is an issue with your website.
This function also allows you to see a quick snapshot of your Meta Data so you can ensure no keyword stuffing is taking place.
Q: Does bad grammar and misspelling have an effect on search rankings?
A: Yes, absolutely. Google wants to deliver the best content possible to their end users, and these elements are major factors. Make sure you use spell check before posting any content to your site!
Q: Is Social Media used a ranking factor?
A: To a certain extent, yes. From a technical standpoint, fresh content related to your brand is always going to help. However, Social Media alone will not be enough to rank on Google and we like to think of it as one small piece in the overall SEO puzzle.
Q: Obviously it’s impossible to know what Google will do next, but what do you think Google has in store for 2014 and beyond?
A: Our opinion is that over time, we are going to see less and less “optimization.” As Google continues to get smarter, they will be able to algorithmically calculate intent and determine ranking value.
Q: Do you think Google will no longer use back links as a ranking factor at any time in the future?
A: This is a very intriguing question. Recently, Google internally tested a version of their algorithm that removed backlinks as a ranking factor and the reported results were way worse. While many in the SEO community rejoiced, we do not think any experiment done by Google – particularly one that elaborate – should be taken lightly. We can’t make firm predictions of what’s to come, but we can take this as a signal for what lies ahead.