Google search representatives have consistently and clearly mentioned that they do not use Google Analytics data to rank sites.
However, there are inconsistencies in between what Google says and what SEOs think.
Regardless of Google’s public statements, some search online marketers continue to believe that bounce rate remains in some way a ranking factor.
Why do they believe this? Is there any credibility to the claims against Google’s public declarations?
Does Google utilize 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 aspect.
Rand Fishkin, Founder of MOZ, tweeted in May 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 released an article (June 2020) about bounce rate stating that “bounce rate might be utilized as a Google Ranking element. “They cite an industry study they ran and claim it found a correlation in between first-page Google rankings and bounce rate. Screenshot from Backlinko.com, June 2022 Later the exact same year, Semrush strengthened this claim in December 2020, saying,” Bounce rate is a crucial ranking aspect.”They did not offer proof to support 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 included as a factor twice under”site-level factors “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 Aspect In”How Browse Works, “Google states,”
… we utilize aggregated and anonymized interaction information to assess whether search results 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 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 Browse, June 2022 The vague wording here has actually caused lots of assumptions about what”interaction data “Google utilizes to notify its device discovering systems. Some marketers think the” interaction data”includes bounce rate. They utilize a handful of studies to support this hypothesis. The Backlinko 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 average 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 bear in mind that we aren’t recommending that time on
website has a direct relationship with higher rankings.
Of course, Google may utilize something like time on website or bounce rate as a ranking signal(although they have actually formerly rejected
it ). Or it might be the reality that premium material keeps individuals more engaged. For that reason a due time on website is a byproduct of high-quality material, which Google does measure. As this is a correlation study, it’s impossible to figure out from our data alone.” Brian Dean confirmed in reply
to a comment that the study did not in fact take a look at bounce rate (or pageviews). Screenshot from Backlinko.com, June 2022 The Backlinko research study, which supposedly discovered a correlation in between first-page Google rankings and bounce rate, did not take a look at bounce
rate. Rand Fishkin mentioned that Google uses relative bounce rate to rank websites, and discussed this topic with Andrey Lipattsev, Search Quality Senior Citizen 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 after that observe over the next 24 hr what occurred to that page’s ranking for that question.
The results were undetermined.
In seven to 8 tests, rankings enhanced for a day or two. Rand said 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 generally links) toss Google off momentarily till they can establish 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 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 Browse Rankings?
Google has actually stated that bounce rate is not a ranking element for over a decade.
“Google Analytics is not used 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, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, Buy Twitter Verified, May 13, 2015.
“I believe there’s a bit of misconception here that we’re looking at things like the analytics bounce rate when it concerns ranking websites, which’s absolutely not the case.”– John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Expert at Google, Web designer Central office-hours, Jun 12, 2022.
Why Google Doesn’t Utilize Bounce Rate As A Ranking Element
There are technical, sensible, and financial reasons that it is improbable that Google would use bounce rate as a ranking factor.
This can be summed up by taking a look at three primary truths:
- What bounce rate measures.
- Not all websites use Google Analytics.
- Bounce rate is quickly manipulated.
What Does Bounce Rate Procedure?
A lot of the confusion around bounce rate can be cleared up once individuals understand what bounce rate in fact determines.
Bounce rate is a Google Analytics metric that measures the portion of single-page sessions (no secondary hits) to your site divided by the total sessions.
Image produced by author, June 2022 Marketers typically misinterpret this metric to mean that the website did not provide what the user was looking for. But, all a bounce implies is that a measurable 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 spends 2.5 minutes reading 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 out any subsequent hits to GA. So, bear in mind that bounce rate does not always indicate a bad user experience. Users may click an outcome, read it, and leave due to the fact that their query was satisfied.
That’s an effective search, and it does not make good sense for Google to penalize 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 element. [Discover:] More Google Ranking Element Insights. Not All Sites Utilize Google Analytics While Google Analytics is a widely-used analytics tool, not all websites use it.
If Google utilized bounce rate as a ranking factor, 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 higher flexibility 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 most services utilize their service for free, large business pay a regular monthly cost for advanced features.
The paid variation is called GA 360, and prices begins at$ 150,000 yearly. There are 24,235 companies currently using GA 360. That corresponds 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 Controlled Some
of you might still not be encouraged. You may have even noticed a correlation in between typical position enhancing and bounce rate decreasing in your daily practice. While bounce rate and typical ranking might associate, they
certainly are not dependent on each other. What takes place 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 average
position for a search inquiry over time. Bear in mind that the bounce rate is sessions with zero secondary hits/
all sessions. So, all you require to do to decrease your bounce rate is send a secondary hit.
You can include a 2nd pageview event using Google Tag Supervisor. Do not make any other changes on-page or off-page; chart your average rankings over 3 months. Then eliminate this extra pageview tag. Did your average rankings increase and
reduce in unison with customizing the bounce rate? Below is a chart of a quick variation of this study on my own website; one that shows no correlation in between bounce rate and average position. Image developed by author, June 2022 Our Verdict: Bounce Rate Is Definitely Not A Ranking Factor< 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 reliable measurement of the significance of web pages– and Google has consistently said it does not utilize it for rankings. With big industry names like Rand and Backlinko putting their weight behind bounce rate as a ranking factor, confusion is easy to understand. Experts have actually checked this user signal with varying results. Some experiments might have shown a connection between bounce rate and SERP rankings in certain situations. Other experiments haven’t done that, however individuals reference them as if they’re evidence.”Verified ranking aspect” needs a high degree of evidence.
Nobody has actually shown a causal relationship. You need to keep an eye out for this in SEO, even when reading relied on sources. SEO is made complex.
Google agents and industry pros like to joke that the answer to
every SEO question is: “It depends.”We’re all looking for ways to discuss success in SERPs. However we require to prevent leaping
to conclusions, which can trigger individuals to invest resources in improving 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 Factors: Truth Or Fiction? Let's Bust Some
Myths! [Ebook] width =”760″height =”300 “data-src=”https://cdn.Best SMM Panel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/rf-ebook-download-banner-62e8c6126ffe8-sej.jpg”/ >