Google Search Results
May 22, 2007 8:06 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for someone to explain Google's search results. The reseach I have done says you need to have lots of good links coming into your site from other high PR sites. I am wondering why Google does not use website visitors. Ie. If you have 100,000 visitors per week, this must be better than a site with 1000 visitors per week, but has high PR incoming links.
posted by bytheowner to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
They don't use visitor-count because they can't measure it. Link-count is public information they can collect with their crawler, but they have no way of knowing how often a given web site is visited unless the site owner installs a google bug on the site to ping Google's server on each load.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 8:13 AM on May 22, 2007

Also, visitor-count would be much too easy to spoof.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 8:14 AM on May 22, 2007

Google really isn't very open about this anymore, because the more they say, the better their arch-nemesis SEO people get. What info you find is usually years old.

Given that, I'm sure they do use click-through percentage as a factor.
posted by smackfu at 8:15 AM on May 22, 2007

They do use CTR (click through rates) data from their own SERPs (search engine results pages).

If you click a link in a set of Google results, you'll often (though not always) see that the link is redirected through a Google tracking server before taking you to your destination.

That being said, Mr. Den Beste is correct: The main reason they don't use traffic as a metric is because it's so simple to fake it.
posted by GatorDavid at 8:21 AM on May 22, 2007

Google has a decent selection of tools to help you manage your site's content in Google. There's also a set of Google Groups.

However, most of the posts in the groups seem to be either folks complaining their PR has gone down (usually because they tried to game the system) and other folks mocking newbies.
posted by beowulf573 at 8:24 AM on May 22, 2007

Just because a site has more visitors than another doesn't mean its content provides a more accurate answer to your query.
posted by at 8:25 AM on May 22, 2007 [1 favorite]

I imagine that number of clicks is strongly correlated with Google-position anyway, so if you tried it you'd have a self-reinforcing loop.
posted by Leon at 8:41 AM on May 22, 2007

Google uses PageRank to determine the ranking of pages on search results.
Check this wikipedia article, and this page from google themselves about PageRank.
posted by blackout at 9:59 AM on May 22, 2007

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