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Does Google Rate Site Bouncing?

Google's search engine runs a series of complex algorithms to help users find what they are searching for through metrics, hits, and a variety of other means. One feature the search giant chose not to use was bounce rates. This was reported by Google's Matt Cutts who stated a little over a year ago that, "to the best of my knowledge, the rankings team does not use bounce rate in any way." That, however, might have changed thanks to Google's Panda or "Farmer" update in February. In the update websites with high bounce rates, meaning visitors who clicked on a link only to jump back to Google's search engine a second later, fell drastically in the search engine results.

In fact SearchMetrics can confirm that after the release of Panda in the UK that, "It seems that all the loser sites are sites with a high bounce rate and a less time on site ratio." Google on the other hand has not stated whether the Panda update uses bounce rates to determine its search engine results. All that can be speculated at this time is that Google is using something similar to the tracking of bounce rates to determine which sites have low quality content.

It used to be that one of the best ways to overcome Google's update was to have better quality content. Now sites affected by Panda are trying to find ways of keeping their visitors on their web page. This is just one of the new ways sites have been trying to climb back up Google's search results. However, this can be a difficult task because even one low quality page of content that does not keep users engaged can cause them to bounce back adding bounces to one's domain and possibly lowering a site's ranking.

Darren Miller

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May 05, 2011