The huge (actually the major) part of Google algorithm is a mystery. On the other hand, very often page behavior in Google SERPs cannot be explained with any known factors Google make public.
Those both factors account for a great number of (unconfirmed) theories and elaborations that might be true and are fun to discuss. One such theory is shared below.
I once was asked if links in Google docs (either published or not) can be crawled and taken into account. I did a quick search on Google to see different opinions on this and stumbled across a forum thread sharing people’s experiences on the affect from backlinks posted in Gmail.
In short: People report seeing Gmail links to be used for discovery. The supporting arguments are as follows:
- Messages in Gmail email are automatically read: the proof is related Google ads shown for each message;
- With Google owning such a huge database of Internet private conversations, it would be strange if it didn’t take advantage of it in some way or another.
The theory is:
- Links sent in messages via Gmail may be viewed as some different type of a vote (not a regular “link value” but, say “one email link”);
- Marking a message containing a link as spam or (on the contrary) clicking the link within the message may also be taken into account as some sort of a signal.
Have you ever noticed links in Gmail influence your page performance? Please share your thoughts!