Is Bounce Rate A Google Ranking Factor?

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Google search representatives have consistently and clearly stated that they do not utilize Google Analytics information to rank sites.

But, there are disparities 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 validity to the claims against Google’s public declarations?

Does Google use bounce rate to rank web pages?

[Suggested Read:]Google Ranking Aspects: Reality Or Fiction

The Claim: Bounce Rate As A Ranking Factor

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

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

Screenshot from Buy Twitter Verified, June 2022 Backlinko published a post (June 2020) about bounce rate stating that “bounce rate may be utilized as a Google Ranking aspect. “They mention a market research study they ran and declare it found a correlation in 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, saying,” Bounce rate is an essential ranking element.”They did not provide proof 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 recognized ranking consider July 2021. Bounce rate is included as an element twice under”site-level elements “and under”user interaction,” with no supporting evidence for their claim. Screenshot from Hubspot.com, June 2022 So, let’s have a look at the evidence, shall we? The Evidence: Bounce Rate As A Ranking Aspect In”How Browse Functions, “Google says,”

… we utilize aggregated and anonymized interaction information to examine whether search results page are relevant 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 Browse, June 2022 The vague wording here has actually resulted in many presumptions about what”interaction data “Google uses to inform its device learning systems. Some online marketers think the” interaction information”consists of bounce rate. They use a handful of 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 discovered that the typical time on site 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 suggesting that time on

website has a direct relationship with higher rankings.

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

it ). Or it may be the fact that high-quality content keeps individuals more engaged. For that reason a due time on site is a by-product of high-quality material, which Google does determine. As this is a connection study, it’s impossible to identify from our data alone.” Brian Dean verified 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 study, which allegedly found a correlation in between first-page Google rankings and bounce rate, did not take a look at bounce

rate. Rand Fishkin specified that Google uses relative bounce rate to rank sites, and discussed this topic 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 on the seventh outcome, and after that observe over the next 24 hours what happened to that page’s ranking for that query.

The outcomes were undetermined.

In seven to eight tests, rankings enhanced for a day or more. Rand stated the rankings did not alter in four to 5 tests.

Andrey responded that he believes it’s most likely that the social mentions, links, and tweets (which are essentially links) toss Google off temporarily until they can develop that the “sound” is unimportant to the user intent.

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

[Download:] The Total Google Ranking Factors Guide.

Does Bounce Rate Affect Search Rankings?

Google has actually stated that bounce rate is not a ranking aspect 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 mistaken belief here that we’re taking a look at things like the analytics bounce rate when it pertains to ranking websites, and that’s certainly not the case.”– John Mueller, Web Designer Trends Expert at Google, Web designer Central office-hours, Jun 12, 2022.

Why Google Does Not Utilize Bounce Rate As A Ranking Aspect

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 measures.
  2. Not all websites use Google Analytics.
  3. Bounce rate is quickly manipulated.

What Does Bounce Rate Procedure?

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

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

Image created by author, June 2022 Online marketers frequently misinterpret this metric to mean that the web page did not offer what the user was looking for. However, all a bounce implies is that a quantifiable event(secondary hit)did not take place. Technically speaking, Google can’t understand for how long a user spends

on a page unless a second hit happens. If a user invests 2.5 minutes reading the website(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, remember that bounce rate does not always indicate a bad user experience. Users might click an outcome, read it, and leave due to the fact that their inquiry was pleased.

That’s an effective search, and it doesn’t make good sense for Google to punish you for it. This is why Backlinko’s study, looking at the time on the page, does not support the claim that bounce rate is a ranking aspect. [Discover:] More Google Ranking Aspect Insights. Not All Websites Use Google Analytics While Google Analytics is a widely-used analytics tool, not all sites utilize it.

If Google utilized bounce rate as a ranking aspect, it would need 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 theoretically have greater liberty to publish whatever material they desired.

And if this were true, it would be illogical for any online marketer to use the GA code. You see, Google Analytics is a “freemium” service. While the majority of businesses use their service for free, large companies pay a monthly fee for advanced functions.

The paid version is called GA 360, and pricing starts at$ 150,000 every year. There are 24,235 companies presently using GA 360. That corresponds 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 Quickly Manipulated Some

of you might still not be convinced. You might have even discovered a connection in between average position enhancing and bounce rate decreasing in your daily practice. While bounce rate and average ranking might correlate, 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 simple 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 query gradually. Remember that the bounce rate is sessions with zero 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 event utilizing Google Tag Manager. Do not make any other changes on-page or off-page; chart your typical rankings over three months. Then remove this extra pageview tag. Did your typical rankings increase and

decrease in unison with modifying the bounce rate? Below is a graph of a fast variation of this research study on my own website; one that shows no correlation between bounce rate and typical position. Image created by author, June 2022 Our Verdict: Bounce Rate Is Definitely 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 Aspect?"/ > No, bounce rate is not a Google ranking element. Bounce rate is not a trustworthy measurement of the relevance of web pages– and Google has actually repeatedly said it does not utilize it for rankings. With huge industry names like Rand and Backlinko putting their weight behind bounce rate as a ranking factor, confusion is easy to understand. Specialists have checked this user signal with differing results. Some experiments may have shown a connection in between bounce rate and SERP rankings in particular scenarios. Other experiments haven’t done that, however individuals reference them as if they’re evidence.”Verified ranking element” requires a high degree of proof.

No one has shown a causal relationship. You require to keep an eye 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 concern is: “It depends.”We’re all searching for ways to explain success in SERPs. But we require to avoid leaping

to conclusions, which can trigger individuals to invest resources in enhancing unconfirmed 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 Aspects: Fact Or Fiction? Let's Bust Some

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