Is Bounce Rate A Google Ranking Factor?


Google search representatives have constantly and clearly said that they don’t use Google Analytics information to rank web sites.

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

Regardless of Google’s public statements, some search entrepreneurs proceed to consider that bounce fee is ultimately a rating issue.

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

Does Google use bounce fee to rank webpages?

[Recommended Read:] Google Rating Elements: Truth Or Fiction

The Declare: Bounce Charge As A Rating Issue

As current as Q3 2021, acknowledged and revered assets have perpetuated the parable that bounce fee is a rating issue.

Rand Fishkin, Founding father of MOZ, tweeted in Might 2020 that “…Google makes use of (relative) bounce fee (or one thing that’s fairly darn shut) to rank web sites.”

Rand Fishkin, Founder of MOZ, tweeted in May 2020Screenshot from Twitter, June 2022

Backlinko revealed an article (June 2020) about bounce fee saying that “bounce fee could also be used as a Google Rating issue.”

They cite an trade research they ran and declare it discovered a correlation between first-page Google rankings and bounce fee.

Backlinko published an article (June 2020) about bounce rateScreenshot from, June 2022

Later the identical yr, Semrush strengthened this declare in December 2020, saying, “Bounce fee is a vital rating issue.”

They didn’t present proof to again up the declare.

Is Bounce Rate A Google Ranking Factor?Screenshot from, June 2022

HubSpot included bounce fee in a rundown of “all 200 rating components” in a cheat sheet to Google’s recognized rating components in July 2021.

Bounce fee is included as an element twice beneath “site-level components” and beneath “consumer interplay,” with no supporting proof for his or her declare.

Is Bounce Rate A Google Ranking Factor?Screenshot from, June 2022

So, let’s check out the proof, lets?

The Proof: Bounce Charge As A Rating Issue

In “How Search Works,” Google says, “…we use aggregated and anonymized interplay information to evaluate whether or not search outcomes are related to queries.”

Is Bounce Rate A Google Ranking Factor?Screenshot from Google Search, June 2022

The obscure wording right here has led to many assumptions about what “interplay information” Google makes use of to tell its machine studying techniques.

Some entrepreneurs consider the “interplay information” contains bounce fee.

They use a handful of research to assist this speculation.

The Backlinko research talked about above ran a subset of domains from their very own information set by means of Alexa to find out a site-wide time on website.

They found that the common time on website for a Google first-page result’s 2.5 minutes.

Is Bounce Rate A Google Ranking Factor?Screenshot from, June 2022

The research goes on to make clear:

“Please understand that we aren’t suggesting that point on website has a direct relationship with increased rankings.

After all, Google could use one thing like time on website or bounce fee as a rating sign (though they’ve beforehand denied it). Or it could be the truth that high-quality content material retains individuals extra engaged. Due to this fact a excessive time on website is a byproduct of high-quality content material, which Google does measure.

As this can be a correlation research, it’s not possible to find out from our information alone.”

Brian Dean confirmed in reply to a remark that the research didn’t truly have a look at bounce fee (or pageviews).

Is Bounce Rate A Google Ranking Factor?Screenshot from, June 2022

The Backlinko research, which supposedly discovered a correlation between first-page Google rankings and bounce fee, didn’t have a look at bounce fee.

Rand Fishkin said that Google makes use of relative bounce fee to rank web sites, and mentioned this matter with Andrey Lipattsev, Search High quality Senior Strategist at Google Eire, in 2016.

Rand described exams he had been working the place he would ask individuals to do a search, click on on the seventh consequence, after which observe over the following 24 hours what occurred to that web page’s rating for that question.

The outcomes had been inconclusive.

In seven to eight exams, rankings improved for a day or two. Rand stated the rankings didn’t change in 4 to 5 exams.

Andrey responded that he believes it’s extra probably that the social mentions, hyperlinks, and tweets (that are mainly hyperlinks) throw Google off briefly till they will set up that the “noise” is irrelevant to the consumer intent.

Each the Backlinko research and Rand’s experiments helped form the bounce fee delusion. However the research didn’t have a look at bounce fee, and Rand’s experiments didn’t show a causational relationship between consumer habits and rating.

[Download:] The Full Google Rating Elements Information.

Does Bounce Charge Have an effect on Search Rankings?

Google has said that bounce fee just isn’t a rating issue for over a decade.

“Google Analytics just isn’t utilized in search high quality in any means for our rankings.” – Matt Cutts, Google Search Central, February 2, 2010.

“…we don’t use analytics/bounce fee in search rating.” – Gary Illyes, Webmaster Traits Analyst at Google, Twitter, Might 13, 2015.

“I feel there’s a little bit of false impression right here that we’re taking a look at issues just like the analytics bounce fee on the subject of rating web sites, and that’s positively not the case.” – John Mueller, Webmaster Traits Analyst at Google,  Webmaster Central office-hours, Jun 12, 2022.

Why Google Doesn’t Use Bounce Charge As A Rating Issue

There are technical, logical, and monetary the explanation why it’s inconceivable that Google would use bounce fee as a rating issue.

This may be summarized by taking a look at three major information:

  1. What bounce fee measures.
  2. Not all web sites use Google Analytics.
  3. Bounce fee is well manipulated.

What Does Bounce Charge Measure?

Quite a lot of the confusion round bounce fee may be cleared up as soon as individuals perceive what bounce fee truly measures.

Bounce fee is a Google Analytics metric that measures the proportion of single-page periods (no secondary hits) to your website divided by the full periods.

Is Bounce Rate A Google Ranking Factor?Picture created by creator, June 2022

Entrepreneurs typically misread this metric to imply that the webpage didn’t present what the consumer was searching for.

However, all a bounce means is {that a} measurable occasion (secondary hit) didn’t happen.

Technically talking, Google can’t perceive how lengthy a consumer spends on a web page until a second hit happens.

If a consumer spends 2.5 minutes studying the webpage (because the Backlinko research discovered correlates with web page rank) after which exits, it’s going to depend as a bounce as a result of they didn’t ship any subsequent hits to GA.

So, understand that bounce fee doesn’t essentially point out a foul consumer expertise.

Customers could click on on a consequence, learn it, and depart as a result of their question was glad. That’s a profitable search, and it doesn’t make sense for Google to penalize you for it.

For this reason Backlinko’s research, wanting on the time on the web page, doesn’t assist the declare that bounce fee is a rating issue.

[Discover:] Extra Google Rating Issue Insights.

Not All Web sites Use Google Analytics

Whereas Google Analytics is a widely-used analytics instrument, not all web sites use it.

If Google used bounce fee as a rating issue, it must deal with web sites with the GA code otherwise than these with out the GA code.

If web sites with out the GA code weren’t graded by bounce fee, they’d theoretically have higher freedom to publish no matter content material they wished.

And if this had been true, it will be illogical for any marketer to make use of the GA code.

You see, Google Analytics is a “freemium” service. Whereas most companies use their service without cost, giant firms pay a month-to-month payment for extra superior options.

The paid model is named GA 360, and pricing begins at $150,000 yearly.

There are 24,235 firms presently utilizing GA 360.

That equates to $3,635,250,000 per yr (on the low finish.)

Utilizing bounce fee as a rating issue just isn’t in Google’s monetary curiosity.

Bounce Charge Can Be Simply Manipulated

A few of you should still not be satisfied.

You will have even seen a correlation between common place enhancing and bounce fee reducing in your every day follow.

Whereas bounce fee and common rating could correlate, they actually should not depending on one another.

What occurs while you improve your bounce fee? Do the rankings fall again to the place they had been?

Bounce fee is straightforward to govern, and you may do that experiment your self.

You have to to extend and reduce your bounce fee for this check whereas evaluating the common place for a search question over time.

Keep in mind that the bounce fee is periods with zero secondary hits / all periods.

So, all it’s worthwhile to do to cut back your bounce fee is ship a secondary hit.

You’ll be able to add a second pageview occasion utilizing Google Tag Supervisor.

Don’t make some other modifications on-page or off-page; chart your common rankings over three months.

Then take away this additional pageview tag.

Did your common rankings improve and reduce in unison with modifying the bounce fee?

Under is a graph of a fast model of this research by myself website; one which reveals no correlation between bounce fee and common place.

Is Bounce Rate A Google Ranking Factor?Picture created by creator, June 2022

Our Verdict: Bounce Charge Is Positively Not A Rating Issue

Is Bounce Rate A Google Ranking Factor?

No, bounce fee just isn’t a Google rating issue. Bounce fee just isn’t a dependable measurement of the relevance of webpages – and Google has repeatedly stated it doesn’t use it for rankings.

With large trade names like Rand and Backlinko placing their weight behind bounce fee as a rating issue, confusion is comprehensible.

Specialists have examined this consumer sign with various outcomes.

Some experiments could have demonstrated a correlation between bounce fee and SERP rankings in sure conditions.

Different experiments haven’t executed that, however individuals reference them as in the event that they’re proof.

“Confirmed rating issue” requires a excessive diploma of proof. Nobody has confirmed a causal relationship.

It is advisable be careful for this in search engine optimisation, even when studying trusted sources.

search engine optimisation is difficult. Google representatives and trade professionals like to joke that the reply to each search engine optimisation query is: “It relies upon.”

We’re all searching for methods to clarify success in SERPs. However we have to keep away from leaping to conclusions, which might trigger individuals to take a position assets in enhancing unconfirmed metrics.

Featured Picture: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal

Ranking Factors: Fact Or Fiction? Let’s Bust Some Myths! [Ebook]


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