Make your website more interesting
SiteProNews had an interesting article today, User Behaviour and Google Site Profiles that hints at the next developments in search engines and the steps site owners need to take to keep their sites ranking highly.
As the article points out, Google's latest patent reveals that in future, Google, and we would expect other engines, will take into account what happens when a link is followed. If the searcher follows a link and immediately returns to the list of search results then this will suggest that the page was not very useful and the page will be demoted.
If visitors typically spend time on the site or follow links from it to other sites then Google will consider it more useful and increase it's ranking.
How then should sites change to take this effect into account? How can you obtain a high ranking for your site?
The answer is relevance and usefulness. If your site answers the needs suggested by the terms users type into the search box then your site will rank more highly than one that fails to meet these needs.
At the OTHER media our central approach to designing sites revolves around identifying expected visitor needs and making sure that the content and services offered meet these.
This means rich useful easily explored content.
It also means providing ways for visitors to feedback their comments and analysing visitor behaviours to identify new and changing needs.
Behaviour based search rankings will not replace reputation and relevance based results but all sites should reexamine their content and see whether it could be made more interesting and useful.