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Improving 3rd party metrics does not increase ranking

Improving 3rd party metrics does not increase ranking

In a Google podcast, Search off the Record, Google discusses spam to discuss third-party metrics and their impact on Google’s search rankings. They noted that improving the scoring of third-party metrics did not result in an improvement in search rankings and suggested expanding to a wider range of factors.

This part of the discussion involved Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst for Google, John Mueller and Duy Nguyen of Google’s search quality team focusing on catching spammy sites.

Third Party Domain Authority Measurements

Many tool and data companies provide metrics that help publishers compare their sites with other sites with a convenient metric that assigns a proprietary “authority” or “ranking” score to sites.

Some of these metrics use links and traffic (among other factors) to calculate an authority or ranking.

The purpose of these metrics is to help publishers and SEOs perform competitive analytics.

However, many publishers use these metrics as proof of site quality and will seek links from other sites with high third-party authority scores to improve their own authority scores.


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What Google makes clear is that they have never seen a link between improving these third-party metrics and a positive impact on search rankings.

Third-party metrics and search rankings

Google’s John Mueller began this section of the podcast by noting that many publishers focus on factors that have no bearing on search rankings.

[00:24:35] John Mueller:

“I think it’s also, as you said, one of those things where you do not even know if it will actually help your site.

And potentially it will just hurt your site, and then you just dig a bigger hole for yourself instead of working on something positive for your site to improve things in the long run. ”

[00:24:56] Duy Nguyen:

“Yes, an example that we observed were webmasters, otherwise spammers tend to focus on improving one or two particular measurements that are external that we absolutely do not use.

They think for some reason that if they spend a lot of time and money improving such scores, it would work really well on Google Search. I have never seen a case where it actually works well.

And I find that rather sad … because if all that time and money was spent on building the sites with better user experience, more functionality, writing better quality content and producing high quality images, they would probably do much better on Search and of course much more sustainable for the site itself. ”


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[00:25:43] John Mueller:

“Yes. Okay, one area where I can see where people I do not know use it almost in a reasonable way is when it comes to making money on their site, where they just want an externally visible metric to go to some advertisements and say, Look, my site is actually quite reasonably located, and if you spend some money with me, I can get your message to a wider audience. ”

But it feels like … sometimes I see people in the forums just say, “I want to improve this measurement.”

They do not really want to focus on the site in general. They’re like, ‘I just want to change this number from 7 to 25.

And I’m like “Why?” It does not change much. ”

Do not focus on just one factor

Duy Nguyen then discusses the usefulness of focusing on one thing (like a third-party measurement) at the expense of focusing on the hundreds of actual placement factors that influence search efficiency.

Duy explains the benefits of focusing on a wide range of performance measures.

Duy Nguyen: [00:26:33]

“Yes, I love data, myself. I think the more data you have, the better you will be in your role, whatever it may be. As a site owner or online marketer, I think it’s really good to have a lot of metrics that you monitor and measure and try to improve as long as you do not focus on one thing.

As a site owner, I used to look at bounce rate and time spent on pages all the time for example to know what content really hits it with my audience so I can
improve more.

Or for some reason I find that no one really finds our contact or support pages. Why? Do we have a problem there?

If people need to contact us, maybe we should just place it somewhere else, rewrite better content.

So yes, as long as you do not focus on a single thing because we have hundreds and hundreds of rank signals. Focusing on one thing does not mean you want to improve it across the board
board and would rank your site better. ”


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Search rankings depend on hundreds of signals

To improve search rankings, it is important to focus on a wide range of relevancy and popularity signals.

Some publishers may focus on links, but their content may lack authority.

Other publishers may focus on authoritative content but neglect to make the web pages user-friendly.

Another publisher may be able to do just about everything right, but neglects to promote each article adequately to encourage links.

Publishers may focus on making connections, but neglect to build an audience, relationships with readers, or relationships with influencers.

Websites that rank well for a limited period of time and jump around between the first and second pages of search results are sometimes pages that neglect a particular part of site promotion, user experience, content quality, or content relevance.

Websites that appear to be locked in the first position as if they owned it tend to be pages that address all aspects related to user experience, signals of popularity and current focus.


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