Is Bounce Rate A Google Ranking Factor?

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

But, there are discrepancies between what Google says and what SEOs imagine.

Despite Google’s public statements, some search entrepreneurs proceed to imagine that bounce fee is not directly a rating issue.

Why do they imagine this? Is there any validity to the claims in opposition to Google’s public statements?

Does Google use bounce fee to rank webpages?

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

The Claim: Bounce Rate As A Ranking Factor

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

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

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 rate may be used as a Google Ranking factor.”

They cite an trade examine 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 12 months, Semrush bolstered this declare in December 2020, saying, “Bounce rate is an important ranking factor.”

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 ranking factors” in a cheat sheet to Google’s recognized rating elements in July 2021.

Bounce fee is included as an element twice below “site-level factors” and below “user interaction,” 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, we could?

The Evidence: Bounce Rate As A Ranking Factor

In “How Search Works,” Google says, “…we use aggregated and anonymized interaction data to assess whether search results are relevant 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 “interaction data” Google makes use of to tell its machine studying techniques.

Some entrepreneurs imagine the “interaction data” contains bounce fee.

They use a handful of research to help this speculation.

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

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

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

The examine goes on to make clear:

“Please remember the fact that we aren’t suggesting that point on web site has a direct relationship with larger rankings.

Of course, Google could use one thing like time on web site or bounce fee as a rating sign (though they’ve beforehand denied it). Or it might be the truth that high-quality content material retains folks extra engaged. Therefore a excessive time on web site is a byproduct of high-quality content material, which Google does measure.

As it is a correlation examine, it’s inconceivable to find out from our information alone.”

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

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

The Backlinko examine, 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 Quality Senior Strategist at Google Ireland, in 2016.

Rand described exams he had been working the place he would ask folks 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 have 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 person intent.

Both the Backlinko examine and Rand’s experiments helped form the bounce fee fantasy. But the examine didn’t have a look at bounce fee, and Rand’s experiments didn’t show a causational relationship between person conduct and rating.

[Download:] The Complete Google Ranking Factors Guide.

Does Bounce Rate Affect Search Rankings?

Google has said that bounce fee will not be a rating issue 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, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, Twitter, May 13, 2015.

“I think there’s a bit of misconception here that we’re looking at things like the analytics bounce rate when it comes to ranking websites, and that’s definitely not the case.” – John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google,  Webmaster Central office-hours, Jun 12, 2022.

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

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

This could be summarized by three main information:

  • What bounce fee measures.
  • Not all web sites use Google Analytics.
  • Bounce fee is definitely manipulated.
  • What Does Bounce Rate Measure?

    A lot of the confusion round bounce fee could be cleared up as soon as folks 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 web site divided by the entire periods.

    Is Bounce Rate A Google Ranking Factor?Image created by writer, June 2022

    Marketers typically misread this metric to imply that the webpage didn’t present what the person was on the lookout for.

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

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

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

    So, remember the fact that bounce fee doesn’t essentially point out a foul person expertise.

    Users could click on on a consequence, learn it, and go away 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.

    This is why Backlinko’s examine, wanting on the time on the web page, doesn’t help the declare that bounce fee is a rating issue.

    [Discover:] More Google Ranking Factor Insights.

    Not All Websites Use Google Analytics

    While 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 in another way 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 larger freedom to publish no matter content material they needed.

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

    You see, Google Analytics is a “freemium” service. While most companies use their service free of charge, giant corporations pay a month-to-month price for extra superior options.

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

    There are 24,235 corporations at present utilizing GA 360.

    That equates to $3,635,250,000 per 12 months (on the low finish.)

    Using bounce fee as a rating issue will not be in Google’s monetary curiosity.

    Bounce Rate Can Be Easily Manipulated

    Some of you should still not be satisfied.

    You could have even observed a correlation between common place enhancing and bounce fee lowering in your every day observe.

    While bounce fee and common rating could correlate, they actually are usually not depending on one another.

    What occurs whenever you enhance your bounce fee? Do the rankings fall again to the place they have been?

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

    You might want to enhance and reduce your bounce fee for this take a look at whereas evaluating the common place for a search question over time.

    Remember that the bounce fee is periods with zero secondary hits / all periods.

    So, all you have to do to scale back your bounce fee is ship a secondary hit.

    You can add a second pageview occasion utilizing Google Tag Manager.

    Do not make every 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 enhance and reduce in unison with modifying the bounce fee?

    Below is a graph of a fast model of this examine by myself web site; one which exhibits no correlation between bounce fee and common place.

    Is Bounce Rate A Google Ranking Factor?Image created by writer, June 2022

    Our Verdict: Bounce Rate Is Definitely Not A Ranking Factor

    Is Bounce Rate A Google Ranking Factor?

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

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

    Experts have examined this person sign with various outcomes.

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

    Other experiments haven’t carried out that, however folks reference them as in the event that they’re proof.

    “Confirmed ranking factor” requires a excessive diploma of proof. No one has confirmed a causal relationship.

    You must be careful for this in website positioning, even when studying trusted sources.

    website positioning is sophisticated. Google representatives and trade execs like to joke that the reply to each website positioning query is: “It depends.”

    We’re all on the lookout for methods to elucidate success in SERPs. But we have to keep away from leaping to conclusions, which may trigger folks to speculate sources in enhancing unconfirmed metrics.

    Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal

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