Is Bounce Rate A Google Ranking Aspect?

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Google search agents have consistently and plainly specified that they do not use Google Analytics data to rank sites.

But, there are inconsistencies between what Google says and what SEOs think.

Despite Google’s public declarations, some search online marketers continue to think that bounce rate is in some way a ranking element.

Why do they think this? Exists any validity to the claims versus Google’s public statements?

Does Google utilize bounce rate to rank web pages?

[Advised Read:]Google Ranking Aspects: Truth Or Fiction

The Claim: Bounce Rate As A Ranking Factor

As recent as Q3 2021, recognized and respected resources have perpetuated the misconception that bounce rate is a ranking element.

Rand Fishkin, Creator of MOZ, tweeted in May 2020 that “… Google utilizes (relative) bounce rate (or something that’s pretty darn close) to rank sites.”

Screenshot from Buy Twitter Verified, June 2022 Backlinko released an article (June 2020) about bounce rate stating that “bounce rate might be used as a Google Ranking element. “They mention an industry study they ran and claim it found a connection between first-page Google rankings and bounce rate. Screenshot from Backlinko.com, June 2022 Later on the same year, Semrush reinforced this claim in December 2020, stating,” Bounce rate is a crucial ranking factor.”They did not supply evidence to back up the claim. Screenshot from Semrush.com, June 2022 HubSpot consisted of bounce rate in a rundown of” all 200 ranking factors” in a cheat sheet

to Google’s recognized ranking consider July 2021. Bounce rate is included as a factor two times under”site-level aspects “and under”user interaction,” without any supporting proof for their claim. Screenshot from Hubspot.com, June 2022 So, let’s have a look at the proof, shall we? The Proof: Bounce Rate As A Ranking Aspect In”How Search Works, “Google states,”

… we use aggregated and anonymized interaction information to assess whether search engine result pertain to questions.”< img src="// www.w3.org/2000/svg%22%20viewBox=%220%200%20969%20325%22%3E%3C/svg%3E "alt="

Is Bounce Rate A Google Ranking Factor?”width=”969″height=”325″data-src=”https://cdn.Best SMM Panel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/5-how-search-works_relevance-of-web-pages-63594638c5b10-sej.png”/ > Screenshot from Google Search, June 2022 The vague phrasing here has caused many assumptions about what”interaction information “Google uses to notify its machine learning systems. Some online marketers think the” interaction information”includes bounce rate. They utilize a handful of studies to support this hypothesis. The Backlinko research study

discussed above ran a subset of domains from their own information set through Alexa to determine a site-wide time on website. They found that the average time on website for a Google first-page result is 2.5 minutes.

Screenshot from Backlinko.com, June 2022 The research study goes on to clarify:” Please remember that we aren’t recommending that time on

site has a direct relationship with higher rankings.

Obviously, Google might utilize something like time on site or bounce rate as a ranking signal(although they have formerly denied

it ). Or it might be the fact that premium content keeps individuals more engaged. Therefore a due time on site is a by-product of top quality content, which Google does measure. As this is a correlation study, it’s impossible to figure out from our information alone.” Brian Dean verified in reply

to a remark that the research study did not actually look at bounce rate (or pageviews). Screenshot from Backlinko.com, June 2022 The Backlinko research study, which supposedly discovered a connection between first-page Google rankings and bounce rate, did not look at bounce

rate. Rand Fishkin specified that Google uses relative bounce rate to rank websites, and discussed this subject with Andrey Lipattsev, Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google Ireland, in 2016.

Rand described tests he had been running where he would ask people to do a search, click on the seventh result, and after that observe over the next 24 hours what took place to that page’s ranking for that query.

The results were undetermined.

In 7 to 8 tests, rankings enhanced for a day or two. Rand stated the rankings did not change in 4 to 5 tests.

Andrey responded that he thinks it’s more likely that the social mentions, links, and tweets (which are essentially links) throw Google off briefly up until they can develop that the “noise” is irrelevant to the user intent.

Both the Backlinko research study and Rand’s experiments assisted form the bounce rate misconception. But the research study didn’t take a look at bounce rate, and Rand’s experiments did not prove a causational relationship between user habits and ranking.

[Download:] The Total Google Ranking Aspects Guide.

Does Bounce Rate Affect Search Rankings?

Google has actually specified that bounce rate is not a ranking factor for over a decade.

“Google Analytics is not used in search quality in any method for our rankings.”– Matt Cutts, Google Search Central, February 2, 2010.

“… we do not utilize analytics/bounce rate in search ranking.”– Gary Illyes, Webmaster Trends Expert at Google, Buy Twitter Verified, May 13, 2015.

“I believe there’s a little bit of misconception here that we’re looking at things like the analytics bounce rate when it comes to ranking sites, which’s absolutely not the case.”– John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, Webmaster Central office-hours, Jun 12, 2022.

Why Google Does Not Use Bounce Rate As A Ranking Factor

There are technical, logical, and monetary reasons that it is improbable that Google would utilize bounce rate as a ranking factor.

This can be summarized by looking at three primary truths:

  1. What bounce rate procedures.
  2. Not all sites utilize Google Analytics.
  3. Bounce rate is easily manipulated.

What Does Bounce Rate Procedure?

A lot of the confusion around bounce rate can be cleaned up once people comprehend what bounce rate actually measures.

Bounce rate is a Google Analytics metric that determines the percentage of single-page sessions (no secondary hits) to your site divided by the total sessions.

Image developed by author, June 2022 Online marketers typically misinterpret this metric to imply that the webpage did not offer what the user was looking for. But, all a bounce means is that a measurable event(secondary hit)did not happen. Technically speaking, Google can’t comprehend the length of time a user invests

on a page unless a 2nd hit happens. If a user spends 2.5 minutes reading the web page(as the Backlinko

research study found associates with page rank)and after that exits, it will count as a bounce since they did not send any subsequent hits to GA. So, keep in mind that bounce rate does not necessarily suggest a bad user experience. Users may click a result, read it, and leave due to the fact that their inquiry was pleased.

That’s an effective search, and it does not make good sense for Google to punish you for it. This is why Backlinko’s study, taking a look at the time on the page, does not support the claim that bounce rate is a ranking factor. [Discover:] More Google Ranking Factor Insights. Not All Sites Utilize Google Analytics While Google Analytics is a widely-used analytics tool, not all websites use it.

If Google used bounce rate as a ranking aspect, it would need to deal with websites with the GA code in a different way than those without the GA code.

If sites without the GA code were not graded by bounce rate, they would in theory have greater freedom to publish whatever material they wanted.

And if this were true, it would be illogical for any marketer to use the GA code. You see, Google Analytics is a “freemium” service. While many services use their service free of charge, large companies pay a month-to-month fee for advanced features.

The paid variation is called GA 360, and rates starts at$ 150,000 annually. There are 24,235 companies presently utilizing GA 360. That equates to$3,635,250,000 per

year (on the low end.) Using bounce rate as a ranking element is not in Google’s

financial interest. Bounce Rate Can Be Easily Controlled Some

of you may still not be convinced. You might have even seen a correlation between average position enhancing and bounce rate reducing in your day-to-day practice. While bounce rate and typical ranking might correlate, they

definitely are not dependent on each other. What occurs when you increase your bounce rate? Do the rankings fall back to where they were? Bounce rate is simple to manipulate, and you can try this experiment yourself. You will require to increase and decrease your bounce rate for this test while comparing the average

position for a search query gradually. Keep in mind that the bounce rate is sessions with no secondary hits/

all sessions. So, all you require to do to decrease your bounce rate is send out a secondary hit.

You can include a second pageview occasion using Google Tag Manager. Do not make any other modifications on-page or off-page; chart your average rankings over 3 months. Then eliminate this additional pageview tag. Did your typical rankings increase and

reduce in unison with modifying the bounce rate? Below is a chart of a quick version of this research study on my own site; one that reveals no correlation between bounce rate and average position. Image created by author, June 2022 Our Decision: Bounce Rate Is Absolutely Not A Ranking Element< img src ="https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/rf-definitely-not-30-614c56b8b46b2-sej.png"alt="Is Bounce Rate A Google Ranking Aspect?"/ > No, bounce rate is not a Google ranking element. Bounce rate is not a trustworthy measurement of the significance of webpages– and Google has actually repeatedly stated it does not utilize it for rankings. With huge industry names like Rand and Backlinko putting their weight behind bounce rate as a ranking element, confusion is understandable. Professionals have actually evaluated this user signal with differing results. Some experiments may have shown a correlation in between bounce rate and SERP rankings in particular circumstances. Other experiments haven’t done that, but people reference them as if they’re evidence.”Verified ranking aspect” requires a high degree of evidence.

Nobody has proven a causal relationship. You need to look out for this in SEO, even when checking out relied on sources. SEO is made complex.

Google agents and industry pros love to joke that the response to

every SEO question is: “It depends.”We’re all searching for methods to describe success in SERPs. However we require to avoid leaping

to conclusions, which can cause people to invest resources in improving unconfirmed metrics. Included Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel< img src="// www.w3.org/2000/svg%22%20viewBox=%220%200%20760%20300%22%3E%3C/svg%3E "alt ="Ranking Aspects: Truth Or Fiction? Let's Bust Some

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