Is Bounce Rate A Google Ranking Factor?

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Google search agents have regularly and clearly mentioned that they do not utilize Google Analytics information to rank websites.

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

In spite of Google’s public statements, some search marketers continue to think that bounce rate is in some way a ranking factor.

Why do they believe this? Is there any validity to the claims versus Google’s public statements?

Does Google use bounce rate to rank webpages?

[Recommended Read:]Google Ranking Elements: Fact Or Fiction

The Claim: Bounce Rate As A Ranking Factor

As recent as Q3 2021, acknowledged and appreciated resources have perpetuated the myth that bounce rate is a ranking factor.

Rand Fishkin, Creator of MOZ, tweeted in Might 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 a short article (June 2020) about bounce rate stating that “bounce rate might be utilized as a Google Ranking element. “They point out an industry research study they ran and claim it discovered a connection between first-page Google rankings and bounce rate. Screenshot from Backlinko.com, June 2022 Later on the exact same year, Semrush reinforced this claim in December 2020, stating,” Bounce rate is an important ranking factor.”They did not offer evidence to back up the claim. Screenshot from Semrush.com, June 2022 HubSpot included bounce rate in a rundown of” all 200 ranking aspects” in a cheat sheet

to Google’s known ranking factors in July 2021. Bounce rate is consisted of as a factor twice under”site-level aspects “and under”user interaction,” without any supporting proof for their claim. Screenshot from Hubspot.com, June 2022 So, let’s take a look at the evidence, shall we? The Evidence: Bounce Rate As A Ranking Element In”How Browse Functions, “Google says,”

… we utilize aggregated and anonymized interaction information to assess whether search results page are relevant to queries.”< 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 Aspect?”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 unclear wording here has actually led to lots of assumptions about what”interaction information “Google utilizes to notify its device learning systems. Some online marketers believe the” interaction information”consists of bounce rate. They utilize a handful of research studies to support this hypothesis. The Backlinko research study

mentioned above ran a subset of domains from their own data set through Alexa to determine a site-wide time on website. They found that the typical time on website for a Google first-page outcome 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.

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

it ). Or it might be the reality that premium content keeps individuals more engaged. For that reason a due time on website is a byproduct of high-quality material, which Google does determine. As this is a correlation study, it’s difficult to determine from our information alone.” Brian Dean validated in reply

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

rate. Rand Fishkin mentioned that Google uses relative bounce rate to rank websites, and discussed this topic with Andrey Lipattsev, Browse Quality Elder Strategist at Google Ireland, in 2016.

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

The outcomes were undetermined.

In seven to eight tests, rankings enhanced for a day or 2. Rand stated the rankings did not change in 4 to five tests.

Andrey responded that he believes it’s most likely that the social points out, links, and tweets (which are basically links) throw Google off briefly till they can establish that the “noise” is irrelevant to the user intent.

Both the Backlinko study and Rand’s experiments helped shape the bounce rate myth. However the research study didn’t look at bounce rate, and Rand’s experiments did not prove a causational relationship between user habits and ranking.

[Download:] The Total Google Ranking Factors Guide.

Does Bounce Rate Affect Browse Rankings?

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

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

“… we don’t utilize analytics/bounce rate in search ranking.”– Gary Illyes, Web Designer Trends Analyst at Google, Buy Twitter Verified, May 13, 2015.

“I think there’s a little bit of mistaken belief here that we’re looking at things like the analytics bounce rate when it concerns ranking sites, which’s definitely 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 Element

There are technical, sensible, and financial reasons why it is improbable that Google would use bounce rate as a ranking element.

This can be summarized by taking a look at 3 primary facts:

  1. What bounce rate measures.
  2. Not all websites utilize Google Analytics.
  3. Bounce rate is easily controlled.

What Does Bounce Rate Procedure?

A lot of the confusion around bounce rate can be cleared up once individuals understand what bounce rate actually determines.

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

Image created by author, June 2022 Marketers frequently misinterpret this metric to mean that the webpage did not provide what the user was trying to find. But, all a bounce means is that a quantifiable event(secondary hit)did not take place. Technically speaking, Google can’t comprehend how long a user invests

on a page unless a second hit takes place. If a user invests 2.5 minutes checking out the website(as the Backlinko

research study discovered associates with page rank)and then exits, it will count as a bounce because they did not send any subsequent hits to GA. So, bear in mind that bounce rate does not always indicate a bad user experience. Users may click on an outcome, read it, and leave since their inquiry was satisfied.

That’s an effective search, and it does not make sense for Google to punish you for it. This is why Backlinko’s research 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 Use Google Analytics While Google Analytics is a widely-used analytics tool, not all websites utilize it.

If Google utilized bounce rate as a ranking factor, it would have to treat sites with the GA code in a different way than those without the GA code.

If websites without the GA code were not graded by bounce rate, they would in theory have higher flexibility to publish whatever content they desired.

And if this held true, it would be illogical for any online marketer to utilize the GA code. You see, Google Analytics is a “freemium” service. While many services utilize their service free of charge, large companies pay a regular monthly cost for advanced features.

The paid variation is called GA 360, and rates begins at$ 150,000 annually. There are 24,235 companies currently 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

monetary interest. Bounce Rate Can Be Easily Manipulated Some

of you might still not be convinced. You may have even discovered a connection in between typical position improving and bounce rate reducing in your daily practice. While bounce rate and average ranking might associate, they

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

position for a search question in time. Keep in mind that the bounce rate is sessions with absolutely no secondary hits/

all sessions. So, all you need to do to reduce your bounce rate is send a secondary hit.

You can include a 2nd pageview occasion using Google Tag Supervisor. Do not make any other modifications on-page or off-page; chart your average rankings over 3 months. Then remove this extra pageview tag. Did your typical rankings increase and

reduce in unison with customizing the bounce rate? Below is a graph of a fast version of this study on my own website; one that shows no correlation in between bounce rate and typical position. Image produced by author, June 2022 Our Decision: Bounce Rate Is Certainly Not A Ranking Aspect< 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 Factor?"/ > No, bounce rate is not a Google ranking element. Bounce rate is not a reliable measurement of the significance of web pages– 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 reasonable. Professionals have actually checked this user signal with differing outcomes. Some experiments might have shown a connection between bounce rate and SERP rankings in specific circumstances. Other experiments haven’t done that, but individuals reference them as if they’re proof.”Validated ranking aspect” requires a high degree of proof.

Nobody has actually proven a causal relationship. You require to watch out for this in SEO, even when reading relied on sources. SEO is complicated.

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

every SEO concern is: “It depends.”We’re all trying to find methods to describe success in SERPs. But we need to prevent jumping

to conclusions, which can trigger people to invest resources in improving unofficial 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 Elements: Fact Or Fiction? Let's Bust Some

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