The bounce rate debate continues…
Bounce rates and how they affect a website’s ranking on Google has been discussed, dissected, and dismembered over and over again.
As fully transcribed on this site, a conversation between Rand Fishkin, CEO of Moz, and Andrey Lipattsev, Google’s search quality senior strategist, led to a surprising discussion on click and bounce rates affecting search rankings.
Rand stated that he has recently been running a few experimental tests with various crowds of 500 to a couple thousand people.
Everyone participating was prompted to take out their cellphones, laptops, and digital what-have-yous and perform a specific search. Once the search listing appeared, he had everyone in the crowd click one of the listings at the bottom of the results page and then click away from that site. He then monitored the results over the next few days.
Rand found a whole bunch of inconsistencies. In a little more than half of the experiments, the ranking did change on the search engine results page (SERP), and in a little less than half of the experiments, the rankings did not change.
This begs the question:
Do bounce rates affect a site’s search engine ranking? If so, how much?
Lipattsev believes that for each individual search query in the experiment, the generated interest regarding those specific searches impacts the rankings change rather than just the clicks and bounces.
He said that if a certain topic is gaining a substantial amount of searches and an increase in social media mentions, Google would pay more attention to that rather than a site getting more clicks.
Lipattsev says that it is certainly doable to determine exactly what causes a large rankings jump for an individual listing, but Internet-wide, it is much more difficult.
All this being said, what actually is a bounce rate?
The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to a particular site who navigate …
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