Panda, PogoSticking & Post-Click SEO

“… the number of times that other search results are selected after a particular search result is selected (referred to as post-pogosticking) is also tracked. This pogosticking information may be used to improve search result ranking …”

Yahoo! Patent Application, filed November 6, 2008
hat tip SEO by the SeaBlind Five Year Old

“Post-click SEO is going to become a larger part of the equation, blurring the line between SEO and traditional design and UI.”

Search PogoSticking & SEOBlind Five Year Old, Nov 14, 2008

Google Bounce
G-Bounce = Bad

When a user, let’s call her Susan, clicks on your site’s listing in Google you may think that your job as an SEO is done. But assuming you want more clicks from Googlers, you’re just getting started.

You may think of Susan as your user, but as far as Google is concerned, Susan is their user. They’re counting on you to treat her right, and they’re anxiously awaiting her return.

The next time Google sees Susan they may:

  • Ask her directly about her experience with you by providing a +1 button and sometimes a “Block this site” link.
  • Look at:
    • How much time she was gone.
    • How she came back (Back button?)
    • Whether she then clicked on other links from the same search query.
Panda upped the ante. If too many people send Google the wrong vibes about your site, Google may lower your ranking not only on those pages but on your entire site.
Mark Munroe gave an interesting talk at SMX East focusing on what he called the G-Bounce: Googler comes to your site, hits the Back button, and then clicks on a different search result. Lowering your G-Bounce is critical in the age of Panda.
Specific strategies for lowering G-Bounce rate
  • Link freely to relevant content on other sites. If you can’t satisfy your user, make sure he clicks onward, and not back to Google.
  • Don’t get ranked for pages / search keywords where you’ll disappoint your user. For example, if you don’t actually have McDonalds coupons, you may not want to rank first for that term.
  • Look for bad keywords. Mark went through a site’s analytics and found they were getting traffic from people who Googled “XYZ reviews.” It was a perfectly good page, but it had the text “No reviews” on it, which was causing it to rank on a term for which it couldn’t deliver.
  • Go to a new browser, do a search that brings up a typical page on your site, and see what kinds of things might send you flying back to Google. A pop-up asking for your e-mail address? A flash intro? Overwhelming ads? Can’t quickly find the content area? Ugly site? Panda has made these practices far more expensive.
If you’ve been hit by Panda spend some time thinking about how to improve your G-Bounce rate.
And Susan, if you’re still here, thanks for staying so long. And when you see our friend Google, let her know I treated you right. Thanks!