Just came across this interesting article that further supports our own finding for where Google is going for their search algorithm:
In addition, found patent filings from Google about ranking sites based on"user feedback:"
These are additional evidence of what we talked about in our August 13th post titled The Definitive Answer to What "Quality" Means to Google in Panda 4.2. To rank well you need to not only have strong technical aspects to your website, you need to capture and hold users while on the site. I realize that John Mueller in a recent Google Hangout said, "I don't think we even see what people are doing on your web site" and "So from my point of view, that is not something I'd really treat as a ranking factor." This statement is vague and I think it has been mis-interpreted incorrectly by some. Google may not have visibility into what a user does on your site, but they know when you click from a search result and how long it takes for that user to come back if they do return to the search results.
Bottom line, either you need an automated tool to simulate traffic going to your site using multiple proxies or you need great content to get and hold users on the site.
You might be confused, like many of us, what Google considers a quality website in the latest Panda 4.2 release of Google's ranking algorithm. Google defines some of this here, but in a deep reading you'll find that much of what Google defines is kind of vague. In Google's latest release of the algorithm we are told it would take weeks for this latest Panda release to complete, which really doesn't make sense. Panda in the past is about taking a snap shot of a site, evaluate the content and then apply a score to it. A typical Panda update shouldn't really take weeks or even days to complete. That gives us one hint to what is going on with Google and the new direction they are going.