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Does Bounce Rate Affect SEO – SEO Daily Tips

Does Bounce Rate Affect SEO – SEO Daily Tips?

This is a topic that is discussed endlessly in the SEO community. The general rule has been that a higher bounce rate does negatively affect SEO as this must tell Google that people aren’t finding what they are looking for on the site and therefore it isn’t relevant and shouldn’t rank so high.

Firstly, it’s worth defining what the bounce rate is. It’s generally accepted to be the times people visit one page on a website and then leave that site before visiting any other pages on the site.

There have been some recent experiments by leading SEO brains testing what happens on selected sites when people deliberately click on a website and then bounce straight away. The results were quite inconsistent with some sites suffering a change in ranking and some not being affected at all.

So does bounce rate affect SEO ranking?

It’s not as simple as first seems. There are many reasons why a website could have a high bounce rate, some good and some bad.

Bad reasons for high bounce rate:

  1. Slow Loading pages – People get frustrated very quickly with slow loading pages and site speed is part of Google’s algorithms for search rankings so a slow site = bad ranking
  2. Irrelevant content – The content on the page may not match the title or meta description and therefore people will leave pretty quickly when they realise the site doesn’t give them what they need.
  3. Broken link – Obviously this isn’t good news and website owners should do their best to ensure the site doesn’t have any bad links
  4. Bad design/too much advertising/Pop ups – One thing that can scare users away quickly is going onto a site and be bombarded by adverts, pop ups, video’s and anything that ruins the experience.

Good reasons for high bounce rate:

  1. Effective call to action – It could be that the user went on the Contact Us page and contacted the company and didn’t need to do anything else.
  2. Excellent content – Maybe that web page provides all the information needed and people don’t need to go elsewhere on the site

So various experiments and research have shown that bounce rate actually doesn’t have a significant impact on rankings as there’s no way for Google to determine whether the bounce rate for one site is due to positive or negative reasons and all situations are different.

So at the moment the 3 most important factors for rankings are:

  • Links with quality sites that send over a lot of “link juice”
  • Quality relevant and original content
  • Rank Brain – Google’s AI ranking system




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