how people use search engines

Human Engagement with Search Engines

October 11, 2017

Despite remarkable technological advances, search engines can’t yet recognize text, view images, or watch video the same way a human can. In order to decode and rank content they depend on meta information about how people interact with sites and pages. This gives them a look at the quality of the pages themselves. In this article I will go over how SEO engagements work.

The Impact of Usability and User Experience in SEO engagement On Search Engine Rankings

There are numerous variables that search engines take into account directly including keywords, links, and site structure. However, through linking patterns, user SEO engagement metrics, and machine learning, the engines make a significant number of assumptions about a given site. Usability and user experience are second-order impacts on search engine ranking success. They deliver an indirect but assessable benefit to a site’s external popularity. The search engine recognizes this benefit as a signal of higher quality and takes this information into consideration when ranking the site.

Creating a thoughtful, empathetic user experience helps ensure that visitors to your site recognize it positively. Encouraging sharing, bookmarking, return visits, and inbound links are all signals that filter down to the search engines and assist with higher rankings.

Signals of Quality Content

1. SEO Engagement Metrics

When a search engine provides a page of results, it measures the success of the rankings by detecting how you engage with those results. If you click the first link, then instantly hit the back button to try the second link, this specifies that you were not satisfied with the first result. Search engines seek the “long click” – where users click result without instantly returning to the search page to try again. The search engines build up a good pool of data to evaluate the value of their results.

2. Machine Learning

In 2011 Google introduced the Panda update to its ranking algorithm, consider changing the way it judged websites for excellence. Google started by using human assessors to manually rate thousands of sites, searching for low-value content. Google then merged machine learning to mimic the human assessors. The computers could correctly predict what the humans would deem a low-quality site. The algorithm was presented across millions of sites crossing the Internet. The end result was a seismic period that rearranged over 20% of all of Google’s search results.

3. Linking Patterns

The engines learned early on that the link structure of the web could serve as an alternative for votes and popularity. Higher value sites and information received more links than their less useful, lower quality peers. Today, link analysis algorithms have advanced significantly, but these principles hold accurate.

Crafting Content

For SEO Engagement Success

Engaging, useful content is vital to search engine optimization. Every search executed on an engine has at least one of a few primary goals— to find, learn, solve, buy, fix, treat, or understand. Search engines place web pages in their results in order to fulfill that intent in the best probable way. Creating fulfilling, thorough content that addresses searchers’ needs enhances your chance to earn top rankings.

Search Types

1. Transactional Searches

This type of search identifies a local business, making a purchase online, or finishing a task.

Signing up for a free trial account at Cook’s Illustrated, creating a Gmail account, or searching the best local Mexican cuisine are all transactional queries.

2. Navigational Searches

Navigational searches are performed with the resolve of surfing directly to a particular website. In some cases, the user may not know the precise URL, and the search engine serves as the White Pages.

3. Informational Searches

This is searching for non-transactional information, getting fast answers, or ego-searching.

The informational searches are mostly non-commercial and non-transaction-oriented in nature. The information itself is the goal, and no contact beyond clicking and reading is necessary.

Creating content to satisfy these types of searches is up to you. Creativity, high-quality writing, use of examples and inclusion of images and multimedia can all help in shaping content. The content should perfectly match a searcher’s goals. Your reward is fulfilled searchers who exhibit their positive experience through SEO engagement with your site.

Do you want to know more about SEO engagement? Make sure to follow along weekly as we update this series. If you have any questions make sure to contact Jordan at one of his social media accounts listed below!!

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