We’ve noticed an increase in the search engine rankings for several of the websites we manage, including this website, over the past couple of weeks.
While we always expect our search rankings to increase over time – and those of our clients – because we focus on highly relevant high quality content, and engage in no link building or unnatural practices at all (this is basically all there is to it in the sophisticated world of SEO in 2012 and beyond – in my opinion!), it has been very interesting to note a specific “trend” which appears to be emerging on some of our “authority” websites.
“Authority Website” Vs “Niche Website”
Without digressing into a long discussion about what an authority website is, I will briefly explain the distinction, such as it exists, when people are talking about websites. This description is most often used when saying “authority website versus niche website” as in a website can be laser focused on a particular niche, or sub-genre (for want of a better word), or an authority in a wider genre.
This Silicon Dales website is something of an authority website in the genre of WordPress, WooCommerce and SEO, for example. Another website we manage, Race-Calendar.com, is an authority running website. A niche website might be a site about “barefoot running” specifically, for example.
More %age Searches from Logged in Google Accounts – to Authority Websites
We have seen websites like these increasing in Google’s search engine rankings of late – but the most interesting part of this trend is that the increases are most marked in the numbers of “logged in Google Account” users who are visiting. These logged in users are the ones for whom the keyword delivering them to the website is listed as “(not provided)” because Google anonymises this data.
While it is a little frustrating for a confirmed statistician not to be able to see the specific search phrase driving traffic to one’s website, if the trend is pointing in the right direction – i.e. upwards – then there’s no great hardship or harm that we can see. In fact, it must be a good thing if those people who have Google accounts are being delivered more often to a website.
Why is this Happening?
So the question, then, is “why”? While we are, now, making educated guesses, I think the answer is that Google is about relevance. A logged in Google user who liked a particular authority website before will be more likely to be interested in what that website has to say in future. Google is literally learning what we would like to look at and delivering us to that website.
Therefore, it would seem to make sense to become an authority, rather than to focus on short term gains. But we knew that intuitively anyway: please your users, and they’ll be back for more! Only, now, it seems that this will be aided by Google’s search engine, too.
Pointers & Advice – Stay Natural!
As ever, don’t do anything unnatural – just think about your web visitors, and what they want you to tell them that they may not be able to find elsewhere… easier said than done, of course!
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Leave a comment below if you have noticed a similar trend – or even the opposite!