Google recently announced new features that would amplify the reach of digital content shared on its social network, Google+. However, it appears the search engine is continuing to experiment with the impact of user activity on SERPs by showing how many people have viewed and endorsed specific articles on Google+. Another seemingly new development is an alert about the number of times and dates users visited certain domains.
See the screen shot below, reflecting how many times I had visited a given site.
Google’s inclusion of this extra information in rich snippets may simply be a trial that dissipates. However, new developments – even those that are just a flash in the pan – indicate the search engine’s power to subtly influence internet users’ behaviors. Take Google+ data in SERPs. A consumer might be steered toward online content that is widely read and has numerous ‘votes’ of confidence via +1s.
The motivation for including data about when users previously clicked through the websites is not quite as clear. On one hand, it might remind individuals they’ve already viewed that web content and encourage them to check out another version. On the other hand, it could suggest this is a trusted source and direct searchers back to it.
Although Google has not made any official announcements about new information to SERPs, this serves as a reminder about user activity and SEO. Brands that repeat traffic through consistent content and consistently great site experiences could earn SEO rewards.