Thread: Bounce Rate

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    Question Bounce Rate


    Hi
    In my learning process i heard of bounce rate in Seo. Can anyone explain it to me as i am getting confused by different results i am getting from different sources.
    How the Bounce rate effect me doing Seo.
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    Most importantly, bounce rate is NOT a factor used in Google's ranking algorithm.

    Here is the definition of BR and why it is NOT a ranking signal...

    Google Analytics Help - Bounce rate

    "Is a high bounce rate a bad thing?

    It depends."

    Bounce rate is simply a mathematical calculation.

    A 100% bounce rate can be a good signal that shows the visitor found the info they wanted on the first page they visited.

    It could also be a bad signal indicating they hated the site, it loaded too slowly or the info was not on the page.
    Last edited by JohnAimit; Nov 28th, 2017 at 02:27 AM.
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    Thanks JOHNAIMIT
    The content was good for understanding but have a little confusion that if the bounce rate is not a factor used in google ranking algorithm then why is the bounce rate considered a main thing in doing Seo i-e everyone says you should lower the bounce rate to increase the traffic. is that right to do?
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    Originally Posted by Anaskarim
    Thanks JOHNAIMIT
    The content was good for understanding but have a little confusion that if the bounce rate is not a factor used in google ranking algorithm then why is the bounce rate considered a main thing in doing Seo i-e everyone says you should lower the bounce rate to increase the traffic. is that right to do?
    I don't know anyone (legitimate) who has ever said that.

    The best thing to do is forget about it completely as a ranking factor and concentrate on getting it to a level in line with your industry/niche.

    Comments on this post

    • JohnAimit agrees : Agree. But the usual suspects are likely to emerge & comment.
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    Hi Anaskarim,
    You will find that most of the info about SEs and SEO is incorrect or out of date. Too many articles about SEO are written by non-SEO folk and too many writers are mostly interested in promoting their business rather than attempting any sense of accuracy.

    1. The Background:
    Around 2013 a few people hypothesised that Google might use "engagement signals" (click-though rate, bounce rate, time on page, pogo-sticking, dwell time) in its ranking algorithm. The G. "engagement signal" myth then took off at a rapid rate. You will find many folk postulating it on SEO Chat and some are likely to add their comments here.

    2. Google's Algo Checklist:
    Before G implements any element in its ranking signal, it must comply with this list of essentials:

    • Can Google measure the signal?
    • Does it give a consistent signal?
    • Does it deliver better "quality" results?
    • Is it very widely used by searchers/websites?
    • Can it be "gamed" by black-hat SEOs?

    "Bounce rate" as an algo signal passes very few of these criteria.

    3. What Does Google Say?
    This hour long video is heavy going if you are not an SEO but it does include a Google spokesperson discussing these elements with a panel of SEOs including one of the early proponents of the "engagement as a ranking signal" theory.

    Video: Google Q&A+ #March

    The Googler is basically saying:

    • Google does not have the technology to measure the signals
    • We've tested it but the results are inconclusive
    • Not enough websites use Analytics
    • The responses are ambiguous

    The Googler also very specifically says we DO NOT use them.


    4. How Many People Use the Attribute?
    What seems to have cooled the ardour of many proponents of "engagement signals" as a ranking factor is a SE user study commissioned by one of the major proponents of the theory.


    If you read through this it tells you how few search users (8%) actually return to the search results. That means that most of these "engagement signals" cannot be read, the signal is too unrepresentative and potentially biased and essentially useless for any ranking metric.

    The proponent of "engagement signals" has gone very quiet on the issue since these data became known.

    Comments on this post

    • suvam5800
    • Anaskarim agrees : Nice explanation to my confusion. Thanks
    Last edited by JohnAimit; Nov 29th, 2017 at 05:53 AM.
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    Told you so Ivan Drago, Here they come...

    Suvam5800,
    Not good enough!

    SEO should not be a popularity competition. Unfortunately, there are too many SEO ranking factor polls going back years that have wrought havoc with SEO services and their ability to deliver accuracy and useful results.

    I've given you logic, user surveys and statements by Google.

    I know you have not had time to even watch the referenced video since you posted your comment.

    Can you give us facts, logic and G statements to support your opinion?

    Or, are you one of the many who have fallen victim of the "engagement signal" myth?

    What should we make of your SEO knowledge if you can't support your opinion with anything at all?
    Last edited by JohnAimit; Nov 29th, 2017 at 06:27 AM.
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    Originally Posted by JohnAimit
    Told you so Ivan Drago, Here they come...

    Suvam5800,
    Not good enough!

    SEO should not be a popularity competition. Unfortunately, there are too many SEO ranking factor polls going back years that have wrought havoc with SEO services and their ability to deliver accuracy and useful results.

    I've given you logic, user surveys and statements by Google.

    I know you have not had time to even watch the referenced video since you posted your comment.

    Can you give us facts, logic and G statements to support your opinion?

    Or, are you one of the many who have fallen victim of the "engagement signal" myth?

    What should we make of your SEO knowledge if you can't support your opinion with anything at all?
    I can't completely dismiss engagement signals as there are so many factors we don't know about, but to focus on "improving" them in order to rank higher is an utterly crazy tactic.

    When you see statements like "you should lower the bounce rate to increase the traffic" it's clear people are actually taking this approach.
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    Originally Posted by JohnAimit
    Most importantly, bounce rate is NOT a factor used in Google's ranking algorithm.
    Please don't confuse one persons opinion with fact. Many people think differently.

    Comments on this post

    • DirectHits agrees
    • Anaskarim agrees
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    Originally Posted by JohnAimit
    Around 2013 a few people hypothesised that Google might use "engagement signals" (click-though rate, bounce rate, time on page, pogo-sticking, dwell time) in its ranking algorithm. The G. "engagement signal" myth then took off at a rapid rate. You will find many folk postulating it on SEO Chat and some are likely to add their comments here.
    I would agree on all of this, except for pogo-sticking. Google measures when somebody clicks to a website and then hits the back button to return to the search results. It's a factor in SEO, and also feeds into Adwords Quality Score.
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    Perhaps I should pose these questions to folk who think bounce rate is a ranking signal...

    What bounce rates numbers do you believe G uses to rank pages in the search results?

    Is it the site average bounce rate for all sources of traffic?
    Is it the site average bounce rate for all generic search traffic for all search queries?
    Is it the average bounce rate for all search queries for a specific web page?

    None of these offer any insight into whether a page answered a specific search question.

    Does Google apply different bounce rates to different search queries?
    How does different searcher intent impact here?

    Eg. Shopping cart product categories pages are usually the main landing pages for search traffic. They may have bounce rated in the 15%-30% range because they are navigation pages to the end product pages. What about searchers who land on a product page? They will typically have very high bounce rates because they are the search end point.

    How does any bounce rate metric indicate a good or bad result that has any relevance to a page's ranking to any search query?

    I have never seen any proponent of bounce rate clarify which BR definition they believe in then explain away its inherent problems as a ranking signal.

    Please step up and explain to us.
    Last edited by JohnAimit; Nov 30th, 2017 at 03:29 AM.
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    Thanks for the advice it helped me a lot in better understanding of bounce rate. I will conclude that low bounce rate is not a bad thing for Seo.
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    Hi Anaskarim,
    I got side-tracked and did not add the rest of the bounce rate as a ranking factor issues to consider.

    I was going to ask about the different BR between mobile phone users and desktop/tablet users.

    Every website Analytics I've viewed, mobile phone users have an average 25% higher BR (or there about) than desktop.

    Now we need the BR proponents to tell us how Google uses this BR differences between devices in its ranking algo?

    Does that mean when our websites are visited via mobile phones our Google rankings will be penalised?

    What about B2B vs B2C marketers? Every B2B website I've viewed has a much lower proportion of mobile phone user access. People tend to use the office desktop/laptop for B2B products/services. Does that mean all B2B websites will get a rankings boost while B2C websites will be penalised in ranking results?

    It's easy to cut bounce rates dramatically. Here are some simple tactics:

    • Hide your phone number, email and physical address so that visitors must click twice to find them.
    • Delete the 80% of product/services pages that only generate 20% of your profit
    • Split the content of every web page in two and add a link to "next" page to finish reading the original page info.
    • Make your product/service pages "no-index" so that folk can only find your site with product/service category search queries.
    • Delete all on-domain blog pages that frequently have almost 100% BR.
    • Make your FAQ page users click through to another page to see the answer
    • Cease all social media, email marketing and digital marketing advertising campaigns as all of these tend to have a much higher BR than generic search.

    I know these suggestions will hurt your site's usability and I rather think your generic SE and total referrals will all be decimated but it should certainly drop your bounce rate by a factor of three at the very least.

    I will leave the bounce rate as a ranking factor proponents to explain how this would work and why.

    Comments on this post

    • Anaskarim agrees
    Last edited by JohnAimit; Nov 30th, 2017 at 03:45 AM.
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    Bounce rate doesn't affect SEO however, it could be a design issue why people are leaving. It's all about perception on how the visitor sees you website. Google only sees the code on your site not how good or bad it looks.
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    Google Analytics Bounce Rate and What Google may consider bounce rate in the ranking algorithm are two different things. In addition to SEO consulting, I also do Google Analytics consulting and I have come across misconfigured Google Analytics accounts where client bounce rate was below 1%. Now that's impossible in real world but if Google was looking at Google Analytics data to rank that site, that site should have ranked well but it didn't. Google has its insider metrics and the bouncerate data that it doesn't get from Google Analytics I know this for fact! However usign Google Analytics, if configured right, simply tells us if users like our content\website or not. And that can have an indirect impact on SEO.
    Data Oriented SEO and Digital Marketing is the only way to go in modern days.
    Los Angeles SEO Consultant | Data Scientist at Analytics Clarity
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    There is always something vaguely wrong about this argument that we have here over and over again but probably because the question is wrong:

    "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" - Should I eat an apple a day? "Definitely if you are having an affair with the doctor's wife"

    You see you should be constantly looking to reduce your bounce rate because:
    a) you will then get more conversions
    b) it is more likely that visitors who stay longer are finding the content they want which means they will share/link to it

    How much should it be? That depends on the industry. Online dictionaries are often at or close to 100% so 96% would be really good if you had a dictionary site but a bit of a disaster if you had a gardening blog.

    Should you reduce your bounce rate for SEO? Well you can argue the toss on this one all day (and we certainly have in this forum) but why ask it? If you want to create a good online presence you should reduce your bounce rate as much as possible, regardless of SEO.

    By doing so you are more likely to create an environment which will attract links which, and I don't think anyone argues with this, do affect SE rankings ... so you come full circle - should you reduce your bounce rate for SEO? .... "Yes if it is reasonably possible within your industry but no, you should not spend endless resources trying to get an impossibly low bounce rate thinking that alone will catapult you up the rankings"

    Comments on this post

    • IvanDrago agrees
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