What Do Websites That Have By no means Been Penalized by Google Look Like?

Person indicators!

It’s the one factor SEOs don’t optimize for.

I don’t know why most SEOs ignore this metric contemplating how necessary it’s to Google.

See, Google doesn’t care to place the web site with probably the most backlinks on the high or the most effective on web page search engine optimisation… they wish to put the web site that you simply and different folks love on the high.

That’s why they have a look at person indicators.

Now, should you aren’t accustomed to person indicators, try this experiment by Rand Fishkin that I mentioned in a latest article.

It exhibits that if everybody carried out a Google search and clicked on the 4th itemizing as an alternative of the primary one, the 4th skyrockets to the highest spot nearly immediately.

I’m not saying it is best to inform your customers to click on in your listings over the competitors. As an alternative, it is best to concentrate on the person. As a result of if you can also make customers love your web site, then you’ll rank greater over time.

So, my crew and I believed it could be enjoyable to have a look at the Google Analytics accounts of internet sites which have by no means been impacted negatively from a Google algorithm replace to see what kind of websites Google likes to rank (and their person indicators).

By taking a look at metrics associated to the person akin to bounce price, time on web site, pageviews per guests (and 5 different indicators), we had been capable of provide you with benchmarks that it is best to purpose for.

We ended up analyzing 518 websites. However earlier than we go into our findings, listed here are some notes concerning the information:

  1. Every web site needed to have been round for not less than three years. We didn’t have a look at any model new web sites as a result of they wouldn’t have been round lengthy sufficient to determine if Google liked or hated them.
  2. Every web site had not less than 5,000 month-to-month guests a month from Google.
  3. We excluded websites there have been in Alexa’s high 1,000 record. Plus we didn’t actually have any information we may share from any of these websites.
  4. We exclude any firm that was producing over $100,000,000 in income. I do know that appears excessive, however we wanted a ceiling. Once you begin taking a look at information from extraordinarily common corporations, it actually skews the information.
  5. We bucketed websites into 10 totally different classes and we checked out each B2B and B2C websites.
  6. All the information was gathered utilizing Google Analytics and Google Search Console.

Let’s begin.

Person sign #1: Bounce price

You’ve heard the time period bounce price earlier than. And you recognize that you simply wish to get it as little as attainable. However earlier than I get into that, let’s break down the definition:

The proportion of holiday makers to a selected web site who navigate away from the location after viewing just one web page.

We discovered that Google loves websites which have a bounce price between 26% and 69%:

bounce rate

Based mostly on the kind of web site you might have, it is best to purpose to have a bounce price as near (if not higher than) the websites above.

When you have a bounce price that’s greater, simply observe these 13 steps to assist cut back it.

Person sign #2: Cellular friendliness

Roughly 60% of all searches happen on a cell machine.

As a result of extra folks search Google utilizing a cell machine and as a consequence of the truth that they’ve a mobile-first index, we thought it could be sensible to see if websites which are within the good graces of Google have a mobile-friendly web site.

mobile friendly

As you possibly can see, all 518 websites had a mobile-friendly web site. In nearly all circumstances, they didn’t have a “separate” web site only for cell, as an alternative, their web site was responsive.

This additionally is smart as a result of as of late it’s important to assume cell first if you find yourself designing or creating any web site.

In case your web site isn’t responsive, it is best to get that fastened ASAP.

And I do know a few of you might be most likely questioning about AMP. A lot of the websites we checked out weren’t leveraging the AMP framework as they weren’t all blogs.

Person sign #three: Common load time

That is the one metric we didn’t leverage from Google Analytics or Search Console. As an alternative, we ran every web site via Pingdom.

average load time

Generally, the quicker your web site hundreds the higher off you might be. Why would you need folks to have to attend 5 or 10 seconds on your web site to load? I do know I don’t like ready.

Google not solely makes use of it as an element inside their algorithm however the slower your web site hundreds the less gross sales you’ll generate.

If an e-commerce web site is making $100,000 per day, a second in load time delay will roughly value you $2.5 million in misplaced gross sales annually.

If you wish to enhance your load time within the eyes of Google, try this Web page Velocity Insights software that they’ve. It breaks down precisely what that you must repair.

Don’t fear about getting an ideal rating, simply get as excessive as attainable.

Person sign #four: Share of repeat guests

Nobody actually is aware of the precise elements Google makes use of of their algorithm.

And nobody has proof if Google is utilizing information from Google Analytics, Chrome, or toolbars (so far as I do know). But when I needed to guess, I’d say there’s a excessive probability they’re assuming it’s authorized.

One of many indicators I’d have a look at is repeat guests. The truth that somebody retains going again to an internet site tells Google that it has loyalty and other people like it.

repeat visitors

As you possibly can see from the graph above, web sites which have accomplished nicely on Google have wherever from 16% to 45% repeat guests.

If you find yourself beginning off, your repeat customer rely goes to be extraordinarily excessive as a result of it’s going to be you and your mates regularly going again to your web site.

However as you develop, you’ll discover that it’ll drop to lower than 10%. To get guests regularly coming again to your web site, you’ll wish to use instruments like Subscribers.

It’s a easy software. It makes use of browser notifications to get folks again to your web site.

push traffic

As you possibly can see from the screenshot above, I used Subscribers to get 42,316 folks again to my web site 174,281 occasions.

Person sign #5: Share of search visitors from model queries

I’ve blogged about this previously and have even proven you the way my search visitors began to climb as my model queries grew.

Simply as a fast recap, I discovered that as extra folks Googled “Neil Patel” or variations of it, Google began to rank my web site for different phrases like “on-line advertising and marketing.”

As soon as I discovered that model queries assist, I spent extra time on constructing a model. Now throughout any given month, I generate roughly 40,412 guests monthly from model associated phrases:

brand queries

I even generate three,806 model queries on YouTube:

youtube searches

It’s not simply me both. Websites that regularly dominate Google even have model queries as a portion of their search visitors.

brand searches

And these websites aren’t simply getting folks to seek for their model, however a excessive portion of these searches land again to their web site. In different phrases, their model queries have a excessive click-through price.

brand queries ctr

If you wish to dominate Google, that you must construct a model.

The larger your model and the extra loyal persons are to it, the extra search visitors you’ll recover from time.

For those who aren’t accustomed to tips on how to construct a model, try hack quantity three on this article that I lately wrote.

Person sign #6: Click on-through price

Talking of click-through price, we thought it could be attention-grabbing to research everybody’s Google Search Console to see the click-through price these websites had.

search traffic ctr

Most of those websites had click-through charges between 1.9% and three.1%.

In case your web site has a low click-through price, you possibly can enhance it by following these 13 steps.

My finest recommendation is to repeatedly A/B check your title and meta description tag to see if you can also make it extra interesting in order that extra folks wish to click on in your search itemizing versus your competitor’s.

Person sign #7: Pageviews per customer

If somebody regularly browses your web site and visits many pages, you might be often doing one thing proper as a result of it implies that folks like your content material, product, service, or no matter else you might be providing.

In fact, you possibly can recreation the system by writing a very lengthy article and solely placing a couple of hundred phrases on every web page and make folks click on a “subsequent” button to maintain studying extra.

However that’s a horrible person expertise and also you don’t wish to try this.

You need folks to naturally wish to go to tons of pages in your web site with out having to trick them.

So what number of pageviews per customer do excessive rating websites have? Nicely, right here’s the typical:

pageviews per visitor

If you wish to enhance your pageviews per customer, simply observe the information on this article.

Person sign #eight: Common time on web site

You don’t need folks to depart your web site… until they’ll purchase one thing or click on on advert.

You need them to remain in your web site so long as attainable.

time on site

As you possibly can see from the chart above, web sites that ranked nicely on Google had been capable of hold folks round for not less than 1.6 minutes if not all the way in which as much as 5 minutes.

Now the 5-minute quantity goes to be a bit powerful, however should you can hold folks in your web site for over 2 minutes you’re going to do nicely.

Plus, you’ll have fewer possibilities of getting hit by a Google Panda penalty.

This text will educate you tips on how to hold folks in your web site longer (with out tricking them).


To dominate Google, that you must assume like Google. It’s not nearly gaming the system and tweaking your web site in order that Google loves you.

It’s extra about understanding their predominant goal, which is to place the person first.

That implies that should you additionally put the person first, in the long term, your rankings ought to slowly climb.

Now, this doesn’t imply you possibly can ignore regular search engine optimisation practices like on-page search engine optimisation and hyperlink constructing, however as an alternative, that you must do all of that in parallel with specializing in the person.

So how do your metrics stack up with the benchmarks above?

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