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The Only SEO Graph That Matters

With all the fuss about the pending August 2007 PageRank Update, I thought I’d try to refocus all the SEOs out there on the only thing that truly matters in SEO: search referral growth. It’s plain and simple. The ultimate goal of SEO should be to increase search referrals. This is often lost on those who focus their SEO efforts completely on building PageRank.

The golden rule of SEO: PageRank does not translate into Search Referrals.

So how have your SEO efforts been going? Not your PageRank building efforts;-) Your SEO efforts? When’s the last time you looked at a graph like this:

Author: ryancaldwell

13 thoughts on “The Only SEO Graph That Matters

  1. Yeah, it’s quite shameful that don’t have that kind of graph on our SEO efforts. There’s a lot of working to do to end up with that graph and able to maintain it as it continues on the web.

  2. Good point taken! But one thing I learn from you, PageRank doesn’t translate better search referrals

  3. pbirm: It’s true that high PR doesn’t necessarily mean consistent high traffic. However, Alexa is so inaccurate that it’s only good for rough estimates. Proper Alexa measure would require that every single person that ever visits your website has the Alexa toolbar installed on their browser. Since that’s not true, especially for techie types, pro bloggers, SEOs, Alexa is not completely trustworthy.

  4. I use to focus on Google PR. But I soon realized the Google PR isn’t a good indication of how a site performs. As a matter-a-fact I removed Google PR from my browser and replaced it with Alexa.com pluggin. I’ve had my Google PR drop, only to have my Google Search Results increase. I’ve seen sites with high Google PR gets much less traffic than sites with a lower Google PR. A better judge of a site’s performance is Alexa.com ranking which is based on traffic.

  5. Hmm. Personally, I need to get radical with my SEO campaigns – my music blog is in a highly keyword competitive field. Lots of large scale publications and established players. Plus YouTube, Wikipedia and last.fm seem to dominate the SERPs in this field.

    I believe the on-site optimisation to be top-notch, so my focus would be on off-site areas like link building and social media. I did some directory submissions a while back, but I’m not entirely convinced that it’s worth doing this extensively.

    Frankly, at the moment I’m happy to write about music I love and hate and just wait and see what Google deals me in the coming weeks. I’m experimenting nicely with social media, having mixed results, but slowly gaining traffic and subscribers. That’ll do for me.

  6. Edward: Not sure what you mean. PageRank is still around, and important for some aspects of site success. But it’s true that search traffic will not necessarily go up due a PR increase. However, over the past 2 years, I’ve found that increased PR for my sites increases traffic sometimes. I think there is some correlation, but I don’t pretend to know the exact relationship. But I definitely get higher CPC at times for Google AdSense, once more of my blogs received higher PR.

  7. Hasn’t pagerank been defunked for a few years now?

    Anyway, I’ve had sites that have pretty high Pageranks that doesn’t mean they’ll get a lot of search traffic. But the times I did get a lot of traffic, it really was a lot.

  8. I think we’ll be pushing this out in the forthcoming pMetrics plugin that’ll be launching next week (hopefully!)

  9. Another thing: if you focus on traffic rather than search referrals (a fine thing to do) keep in mind that the best performing CTR traffic is normally search. In fact, you can almost always plot the strong correlative relationship between search referrals and CTR – where if you increase the ratio of search referrals to overall site traffic, you’ll increase CTR too. It’s almost a given.

    Of course, if you increase PageRank, you also increase your ability to sell pagerank…but that’s another story.

  10. Notice that I didn’t say that this graph is all that matters to a website or blog owners (for the website or blog owner, total traffic is really all that matters).

    However, this is the only graph that matters for the SEO professional.

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