Is Bounce Rate A Google Ranking Aspect?

Google search agents have regularly and plainly specified that they do not utilize Google Analytics information to rank sites.

However, there are inconsistencies in between what Google states and what SEOs think.

Regardless of Google’s public declarations, some search online marketers continue to think that bounce rate remains in some method a ranking aspect.

Why do they think this? Exists any credibility to the claims versus Google’s public declarations?

Does Google utilize bounce rate to rank web pages?

[Recommended Read:] Google Ranking Aspects: Truth Or Fiction

The Claim: Bounce Rate As A Ranking Aspect

As current as Q3 2021, acknowledged and appreciated resources have actually perpetuated the misconception that bounce rate is a ranking aspect.

Rand Fishkin, Creator of MOZ, tweeted in May 2020 that “… Google utilizes (relative) bounce rate (or something that’s quite darn close) to rank sites.”

Screenshot from Twitter, June 2022

B acklinko released a post (June 2020) about bounce rate stating that “bounce rate might be utilized as a Google Ranking aspect.”

They point out a market research study they ran and declare it discovered a connection in between first-page Google rankings and bounce rate.

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

Later on the very same year, Semrush enhanced this claim in December 2020, stating, “Bounce rate is a crucial ranking aspect.”

They did not supply proof to support the claim.

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

HubSpot consisted of bounce rate in a rundown of “all 200 ranking elements” in a cheat sheet to Google’s recognized ranking consider July 2021.

Bounce rate is consisted of as an element two times under “site-level elements” and under “user interaction,” without any supporting proof for their claim.

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

So, let’s have a look at the proof, shall we?

The Proof: Bounce Rate As A Ranking Aspect

In “How Browse Functions,” Google states, “… we utilize aggregated and anonymized interaction information to evaluate whether search engine result pertain to inquiries.”

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

The unclear phrasing here has actually caused numerous presumptions about what “interaction information” Google utilizes to notify its maker discovering systems.

Some online marketers think the “interaction information” consists of bounce rate.

They utilize a handful of research studies to support this hypothesis.

The Backlinko research study discussed above ran a subset of domains from their own information set through Alexa to figure out a site-wide time on website.

They found that the typical time on website for a Google first-page outcome is 2.5 minutes.

Is Bounce Rate A Google Ranking Factor? Screenshot from, 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 greater rankings.

Naturally, Google might 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 by-product of premium material, which Google does determine.

As this is a connection research study, it’s difficult to figure out from our information alone.”

Brian Dean verified in reply to a remark that the research study did not in fact take a look at bounce rate (or pageviews).

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

The Backlinko research study, which apparently discovered a connection in between first-page Google rankings and bounce rate, did not take a look at bounce rate.

Rand Fishkin specified that Google utilizes relative bounce rate to rank sites, and discussed this subject with Andrey Lipattsev, Browse Quality Elder Strategist at Google Ireland, in 2016.

Rand explained tests he had actually been running where he would ask individuals to do a search, click the seventh outcome, and after that observe over the next 24 hr what occurred to that page’s ranking for that inquiry.

The outcomes were undetermined.

In 7 to 8 tests, rankings enhanced for a day or 2. Rand stated the rankings did not alter in 4 to 5 tests.

Andrey reacted that he thinks it’s most likely that the social points out, links, and tweets (which are essentially links) toss Google off briefly up until they can develop that the “sound” is unimportant to the user intent.

Both the Backlinko research study and Rand’s experiments assisted form the bounce rate misconception. However the research study didn’t take a look at bounce rate, and Rand’s experiments did not show a causational relationship in between user habits and ranking.

[Download:] The Total Google Ranking Aspects Guide.

Does Bounce Rate Affect Browse Rankings?

Google has actually specified that bounce rate is not a ranking aspect for over a years.

” Google Analytics is not utilized in search quality in any method for our rankings.”– Matt Cutts, Google Browse Central, February 2, 2010.

” … we do not utilize analytics/bounce rate in search ranking.”– Gary Illyes, Web Designer Trends Expert at Google, Twitter, May 13, 2015.

” I believe there’s a little mistaken belief here that we’re taking a look at things like the analytics bounce rate when it concerns ranking sites, which’s certainly not the case.”– John Mueller, Web Designer Trends Expert at Google, Web designer Central office-hours, Jun 12, 2022.

Why Google Does Not Utilize Bounce Rate As A Ranking Aspect

There are technical, rational, and monetary reasons that it is unlikely that Google would utilize bounce rate as a ranking aspect.

This can be summed up by taking a look at 3 main truths:

  1. What bounce rate procedures.
  2. Not all sites utilize Google Analytics.
  3. Bounce rate is quickly controlled.

What Does Bounce Rate Procedure?

A great deal of the confusion around bounce rate can be cleaned up once individuals comprehend what bounce rate in fact determines.

Bounce rate is a Google Analytics metric that determines the portion of single-page sessions (no secondary hits) to your website divided by the overall sessions.

Is Bounce Rate A Google Ranking Factor? Image produced by author, June 2022

Online marketers frequently misinterpret this metric to suggest that the website did not supply what the user was trying to find.

However, all a bounce indicates is that a quantifiable occasion (secondary hit) did not take place.

Technically speaking, Google can’t comprehend the length of time a user invests in a page unless a 2nd hit takes place.

If a user invests 2.5 minutes checking out the website (as the Backlinko research study discovered associates with page rank) and after that exits, it will count as a bounce since they did not send out any subsequent hits to GA.

So, bear in mind that bounce rate does not always show a bad user experience.

Users might click an outcome, read it, and leave since their inquiry was pleased. That’s an effective search, and it does not make good sense for Google to punish 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 aspect.

[Discover:] More Google Ranking Aspect Insights.

Not All Sites Utilize Google Analytics

While Google Analytics is a widely-used analytics tool, not all sites utilize it.

If Google utilized bounce rate as a ranking aspect, it would need to deal with sites with the GA code in a different way than those without the GA code.

If sites without the GA code were not graded by bounce rate, they would in theory have higher liberty to release whatever material they desired.

And if this held true, it would be illogical for any online marketer to utilize the GA code.

You see, Google Analytics is a “freemium” service. While many organizations utilize their service free of charge, big business pay a month-to-month cost for advanced functions.

The paid variation is called GA 360, and prices begins at $150,000 yearly.

There are 24,235 business presently utilizing GA 360.

That corresponds to $3,635,250,000 annually (on the low end.)

Utilizing bounce rate as a ranking aspect is not in Google’s monetary interest.

Bounce Rate Can Be Quickly Controlled

A few of you might still not be encouraged.

You might have even seen a connection in between typical position enhancing and bounce rate reducing in your everyday practice.

While bounce rate and typical ranking might associate, they definitely are not based on each other.

What occurs when you increase your bounce rate? Do the rankings fall back to where they were?

Bounce rate is simple to control, and you can attempt this experiment yourself.

You will require to increase and reduce your bounce rate for this test while comparing the typical position for a search inquiry with time.

Bear in mind that the bounce rate is sessions with absolutely no secondary hits/ all sessions.

So, all you require to do to minimize your bounce rate is send out a secondary hit.

You can include a 2nd pageview occasion utilizing Google Tag Supervisor.

Do not make any other modifications on-page or off-page; chart your typical rankings over 3 months.

Then eliminate this additional pageview tag.

Did your typical rankings increase and reduce in unison with customizing the bounce rate?

Below is a chart of a fast variation of this research study on my own website; one that reveals no connection in between bounce rate and typical position.

Is Bounce Rate A Google Ranking Factor? Image produced by author, June 2022

Our Decision: Bounce Rate Is Absolutely Not A Ranking Aspect

Is Bounce Rate A Google Ranking Factor?

No, bounce rate is not a Google ranking aspect. Bounce rate is not a reputable measurement of the significance of web pages– and Google has actually consistently stated it does not utilize it for rankings.

With huge market names like Rand and Backlinko putting their weight behind bounce rate as a ranking aspect, confusion is easy to understand.

Specialists have actually checked this user signal with differing outcomes.

Some experiments might have shown a connection in between bounce rate and SERP rankings in particular scenarios.

Other experiments have not done that, however individuals reference them as if they’re evidence.

” Verified ranking aspect” needs a high degree of proof. Nobody has actually shown a causal relationship.

You require to keep an eye out for this in SEO, even when checking out relied on sources.

SEO is made complex. Google agents and market pros enjoy to joke that the response to every SEO concern is: “It depends.”

We’re all trying to find methods to discuss success in SERPs. However we require to prevent leaping to conclusions, which can trigger individuals to invest resources in enhancing unofficial metrics.

Included Image: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal

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

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