Is Bounce Rate A Google Ranking Element?

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

However, there are discrepancies between what Google says and what SEOs believe.

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

Why do they believe this? Is there any credibility to the claims against Google’s public declarations?

Does Google use bounce rate to rank websites?

[Recommended Read:]Google Ranking Factors: Reality Or Fiction

The Claim: Bounce Rate As A Ranking Element

As current as Q3 2021, acknowledged and respected resources have perpetuated the misconception 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 websites.”

Screenshot from Buy Twitter Verified, June 2022 Backlinko published a short article (June 2020) about bounce rate stating that “bounce rate may be utilized as a Google Ranking element. “They mention a market study they ran and declare it discovered a correlation in between first-page Google rankings and bounce rate. Screenshot from Backlinko.com, June 2022 Later the exact same year, Semrush reinforced this claim in December 2020, stating,” Bounce rate is a crucial ranking element.”They did not supply evidence to support the claim. Screenshot from Semrush.com, June 2022 HubSpot consisted of bounce rate in a rundown of” all 200 ranking elements” in a cheat sheet

to Google’s known 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 evidence, shall we? The Proof: Bounce Rate As A Ranking Factor In”How Search Functions, “Google says,”

… we utilize aggregated and anonymized interaction information to evaluate whether search results page 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 unclear wording here has caused lots of presumptions about what”interaction data “Google uses to notify its maker finding out systems. Some 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 information set through Alexa to determine a site-wide time on site. 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 keep in mind that we aren’t recommending that time on

website has a direct relationship with higher rankings.

Of course, Google may use something like time on website or bounce rate as a ranking signal(although they have actually previously rejected

it ). Or it may be the fact that top quality content keeps individuals more engaged. Therefore a high time on website is a byproduct of premium content, which Google does determine. As this is a connection study, it’s difficult to determine from our data alone.” Brian Dean confirmed in reply

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

rate. Rand Fishkin stated that Google utilizes relative bounce rate to rank sites, and discussed this subject with Andrey Lipattsev, Browse Quality Senior Strategist at Google Ireland, in 2016.

Rand described tests he had actually been running where he would ask people to do a search, click the seventh result, and then observe over the next 24 hr what occurred to that page’s ranking for that query.

The outcomes were undetermined.

In 7 to eight tests, rankings improved for a day or 2. Rand stated the rankings did not alter in four to five tests.

Andrey reacted that he thinks it’s more likely that the social discusses, links, and tweets (which are generally links) throw Google off momentarily until they can develop that the “noise” is unimportant to the user intent.

Both the Backlinko study and Rand’s experiments helped form the bounce rate misconception. But the study didn’t take a look at bounce rate, and Rand’s experiments did not show a causational relationship in between user behavior and ranking.

[Download:] The Total Google Ranking Elements Guide.

Does Bounce Rate Affect Search Rankings?

Google has stated that bounce rate is not a ranking element for over a decade.

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

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

“I believe there’s a little mistaken belief here that we’re taking a look at things like the analytics bounce rate when it concerns ranking sites, and that’s absolutely not the case.”– John Mueller, Web Designer Trends Analyst at Google, Web designer Central office-hours, Jun 12, 2022.

Why Google Doesn’t Utilize Bounce Rate As A Ranking Factor

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

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

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

What Does Bounce Rate Measure?

A lot of the confusion around bounce rate can be cleaned up once individuals understand what bounce rate in fact measures.

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

Image produced by author, June 2022 Marketers frequently misinterpret this metric to indicate that the webpage did not provide what the user was searching for. But, all a bounce means is that a quantifiable occasion(secondary hit)did not occur. Technically speaking, Google can’t understand for how long a user invests

on a page unless a 2nd hit occurs. If a user invests 2.5 minutes reading the webpage(as the Backlinko

study discovered correlates with page rank)and after that 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 suggest a bad user experience. Users may click a result, read it, and leave due to the fact that their question was pleased.

That’s a successful search, and it doesn’t make good sense for Google to penalize you for it. This is why Backlinko’s research study, looking at the time on the page, does not support the claim that bounce rate is a ranking aspect. [Discover:] More Google Ranking Factor Insights. Not All Sites Use 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 have to deal with websites with the GA code differently than those without the GA code.

If websites without the GA code were not graded by bounce rate, they would in theory have greater freedom to release whatever material they desired.

And if this held true, it would be illogical for any marketer to utilize the GA code. You see, Google Analytics is a “freemium” service. While a lot of businesses utilize their service totally free, large business pay a monthly cost for advanced functions.

The paid variation is called GA 360, and prices starts at$ 150,000 yearly. There are 24,235 business currently using GA 360. That relates to$3,635,250,000 per

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

monetary interest. Bounce Rate Can Be Easily Controlled Some

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

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

position for a search query in time. Remember that the bounce rate is sessions with absolutely no secondary hits/

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

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

reduce in unison with customizing the bounce rate? Below is a graph of a fast variation of this research study on my own website; one that shows no connection between bounce rate and typical position. Image produced by author, June 2022 Our Verdict: Bounce Rate Is Definitely 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 Element?"/ > No, bounce rate is not a Google ranking factor. Bounce rate is not a trusted measurement of the importance of web pages– and Google has actually consistently stated it does not use it for rankings. With big industry names like Rand and Backlinko putting their weight behind bounce rate as a ranking element, confusion is understandable. Professionals have checked this user signal with varying 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 individuals reference them as if they’re evidence.”Verified ranking factor” requires a high degree of evidence.

No one has shown a causal relationship. You require to keep an eye out for this in SEO, even when reading relied on sources. SEO is complicated.

Google agents and industry pros enjoy to joke that the answer to

every SEO question is: “It depends.”We’re all searching for ways to explain success in SERPs. But we need to prevent jumping

to conclusions, which can trigger people to invest resources in improving unofficial metrics. Featured 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: Truth Or Fiction? Let's Bust Some

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