Click Popularity

An overwhelming number of webmasters and search engine marketers ignore or miss the importance of click tracking technologies, and thus miss out on the search engines that use the technology as part of their algorithms. The reason one needs to watch these tools, and map a strategy for dealing with them is simple. They provide data to other engines, and more importantly, their data is used in ranking algorithms. Thus, dealing with them should be part of your search engine optimization strategy.

What Is Click Popularity And How Do You Measure Website Stickiness?

Click Popularity sorting algorithms are based on the premise that by tracking how many users click on a link, and how long they stay at a website, they are allowing users, rather than the search engines or web directory editors, to organize search results. They claim to do so by measuring click popularity and measuring stickiness.

  • Click popularity is calculated by measuring the number of clicks each web site receives from a search engine's results page. The theory is that the more often the search result is clicked, the more popular the website must be. The problem here is that a website operator can create a misleading description which induces click throughs to irrelevant websites.

  • Stickiness measurement is a really great idea in theory, but many environmental variables can skew the results. The measurement works by recording the amount of time a user spends at each website that they click through to from a search engine result. This time is calculated by measuring the time that elapses between each of the user's clicks on the search engine's results page. The premise being that a user will click the first result, and either spend time reading a relevant web page, or will click on the back button, and look at the next result. The longer a user spends on each page, the more relevant it must be. This measurement does go a long way to fixing the problem with "spoofing" the click popularity results. It does of course raise issues with search abandonment - how long until the click no longer counts? What about a click that happens just before your lunch break?

A lot of people wonder whether this ranking strategy really makes a lot of sense. Apart from the flaws in the major algorithms, critics are always pointing out that new sites and other low-scoring sites will face little chance of improving their positions.

What Can I Do To Score Higher With Click Popularity Algorithms?

Since the scores that generate rankings are based on numerous factors, there's no one magic formula to improve your site's placement. It's a combination of things. Optimizing your meta tags and increasing keyword density won't directly change how your site performs in click-tracking systems. That said, optimizing them will help your websites stickiness measurement, by ensuring that the click throughs your website receives are relevant. This will help it move up the rankings, and thus improve its click popularity score. Here are a few things you can do to encourage users to visit your website more often and to stay longer.

Write An Enticing Title

Good titles should be descriptive and contain the core information that will interest the user. If you are unsure, ask your marketing or consulting advisors to help come up with an appealing title.

Use The Meta Description Tag

Search engines usually use the meta description tag for the one they post in search results. Make sure that the text in this tag is not only optimized, but also interesting and enticing to a potential website visitor. Make sure it's relevant. If you are not sure what this is, please read our section on meta tags.

Use Great Content On The Home Page

Your website's home page is extremely important - it's the all important "first impression". Make sure people immediately understand what it is about, what it does, and what the values and benefits are, in that order. Always remember that the home page is the window to the outside world. Improving your home page will not only boost your stickiness as far as the search engines are concerned, it will encourage users to stay and use the website repeatedly, and treat it as a resource.

Design Good Navigation

Navigation is crucial to your whole site and especially to your home page. If someone is trying to find a certain product or article on your page, try to make this process as painless as possible. Provide a site map or a search function whenever you can.

For more hints, we suggest reading the section called Strategy for Building a Web Site