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High Bounce rate - Not necessarily a bad thing IMO

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by Ramsweb, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. Ramsweb

    Ramsweb Senior Member

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    Generally, if you looked at anyone's post on On-Page SEO, they will tell you that a low bounce rate is very good for your site. While people going to multiple pages on a domain is always good news, a high bounce rate does not necessarily mean that your site is crap.

    Just think of the following situation. A guy searches for the answer to "What is 1+1" on Google (God forbid someone should really search for that, but just for example sake). He comes to your page that says 1+1 =2. He has got what he wants. He will probably leave your site in 5 seconds.

    Does that make your site crap? No, I don't think so. If anything, your site is super awesome for fixing his problem in less than five seconds.

    The real question is how bounce rate plays into Google's algorithm. Do they rate sites higher just because the bounce rate is low. This is a question that I just don't know the answer to.

    There have been many people who talk about crowd sourcing, a technique that Google's algo uses to determine the first 10 positions, based on on site activity, once the user clicks through a site. I however don't quite buy it. I don't think bounce rate is taken so much into calculation as things like social network activity like fb likes, tweets, google pluses etc.

    What are your thoughts? I am sure people will tend to disagree and it will be interesting to see what they say.

    Thanks
    Ramsweb
     
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  2. Patel

    Patel Senior Member

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    I have a website with a 90% bounce rate, but the traffic converts like crazy.

    It does fine and it is ranking at the top.

    Because I know the bounce rate is so high, I chose to use Piwik instead of GA, and I have not added GW to it either.

    I think the only thing that matters is what the back button rate is, because I think Google calculates that for sure.

    If a bunch of people are visiting your website, and clicking a affiliate link or something immediately, the bounce rate will go high, but since they are not actually hitting the back button, Google wouldn't be able to calculate time on page, bounce rate, and all that info. But you have to make sure there are no google scripts on the page for them to analyze your traffic.

    My 2c.
     
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  3. Ramsweb

    Ramsweb Senior Member

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    Is there a good free analytics program other than Google analytics that can give you the real time count of visitors on your site. I love Google analytics but want to get rid of it as I don't want them keeping tabs on my site, for whatever reason.
     
  4. Patel

    Patel Senior Member

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    Im using Piwik right now, it is a softaculous script.

    And I like it because it will tell you how many visitors came in the past 30 minutes, and past 24 hours. It updates real time. Has all the features of GA as well.
     
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  5. Ramsweb

    Ramsweb Senior Member

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    I guess I will just use AW stats for my site now. It is pretty detailed and it is already set up in my hostgator cpanel. I really liked the live count feature with Google analytics though. I don't see that with any of the other analytics tool. Oh well, doesn't matter that much I guess.
     
  6. argh11

    argh11 Regular Member

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    If you are using wordpress you can use the OWA plugin that is based on piwik. It looks similar to GA and is supposed to give you live users.
    :)
     
  7. thedon23

    thedon23 Elite Member

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    I agree. We can't automatically look at a high bounce rate and say it's a bad thing. I'm sure it varies from one case to another, just like you said.
     
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  8. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    I bet that Google did not send you the "your site is using bad backlinking so we are going to penalize you" email too.

    Smart move on your part.
     
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  9. thedon23

    thedon23 Elite Member

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    +1 for Piwik. I use Google Analytics on two of my sites, but recently added Piwik to another site of mine. So far, so good.
     
  10. dewaz

    dewaz Regular Member

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    I use HISTATS, it's light, realtime and has enough function for me. I pick hidden tracker, so nobody knows i use it. 100% free.
     
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  11. teeniegenie

    teeniegenie Supreme Member

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    I use statcounter with my wordpress sites and it's worked well so far.
     
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  12. danielgb123

    danielgb123 Regular Member

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    Second this one, very good to analyze real time statistics.
     
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  13. themidiman

    themidiman Power Member

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    I have sites that have sat at #1 for many months, with bounce rates over 85%. Not a single one of those sites has GA installed though.

    I often think about the whole "bounce rate affects your rankings" in relation to how I search the web. Personally, I rarely only go to only one of the webpages on the first page of my search result, regardless if the first result/site I visit meets my needs. When you go shopping for something, don't you usually pick up a couple items to compare? Even if you go to the store with the intention of buying a specific brand, you generally take a look at what the competition has to offer.

    Just my thoughts.
     
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  14. deviatus

    deviatus Power Member

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    The rare case of when a great quality site has a high bounce rate is just the exception to the rule in G's eyes. Either they can take BR into account, and unfairly punish a small portion of sites, or they ignore high BR altogether. They'll always choose the latter.
     
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  15. novel92

    novel92 Regular Member

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    guys i noticed that bounce rate is really not important.


    based on my experience what really counts is the stay time of the visitor. ;)
     
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  16. alba56

    alba56 Regular Member

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    I have a site with bounce rate ZERO yep 100% visit 3.2 pages, Sales are crap and Google gave me PR2 after about 3 months, however with sales crap I stopped adding content and PR went some pages still PR1 but site 0.

    It seems that bounce rate is good lower better but content is what gives you PR.

    Also low bounce rate dont mean high sales.
     
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  17. crazedspyker

    crazedspyker Senior Member

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    I don't think it's about the bounce rate, I think it's what the users do *after* they bounce. If someone's searching for 1+1 and they reach your site and find the answer, they'll probably leave (not a bad thing as you mentioned). But if your site didn't give them the answer they're looking for, most likely they'll go back to google and click on a different result. Google is aware when this happens. They even give the option now to block a site after you click "back". So I wouldn't be surprised if they're monitoring where users are going after they leave a site and whether they found what they were looking for or not. Just my guess.

    To sum it up, I don't think bounce rate matters (on it's own at least), but it'll probably be matched up with other metrics perhaps based on user search patterns.

    To cover all my bases, I now focus entirely on quality over quantity. It's just a decision I made last month. In the past I would spend about 1-3 days researching a new niche, and then set it up to post 1 article per day while sending the urls daily for "batch backlinking." However, the new niche sites I'm launching in the next few days took me over 1 week of keyword research to prepare and articles are all top notch. The niche is also an area that I'm passionate about so it's easier for me to keep everything up to date and make sure my site is the place to go for information. I also reduced post rate from my daily posting to 1 post per week (allows me to tweak the article and make sure it's the best on the web for that keyword), and use the other articles I normally would have posted on my site as my first tier buffers pointing towards my weekly high quality article, which then gets blasted with multi-tiered backlinking packages like linkpushing.

    I'm not aiming for a low bounce rate by doing all this. I'm actually aiming to craft my site to answer the query of the user so they don't need to go back to google and do the same search over again. I guess I'll know how this works out in the next few months but I got a good feeling about it. I just know what I'm doing right now with my current sites is not working out for me (It's making me enough to keep all my services going but rarely a profit).
     
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    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
  18. Ramsweb

    Ramsweb Senior Member

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    I agree with you on this. I think Google might apply crowd sourcing principles based on the metrics that you have suggested here. Most Internet marketers will probably never use the back button as they always open stuff in tabs. However, the average Internet user is still a slave to the back button and it will probably be used as a metric by Google.
     
  19. Ramsweb

    Ramsweb Senior Member

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    Thanks guys. I am checking this out right now.
     
  20. Greyform

    Greyform Registered Member

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    Interesting. Maybe it's time to take a couple of my sites off GA/GW and do some testing with other analytics solutions.

    Though between their search engine and browser I'd imagine they have other ways to track things like bounce rates.. There is no escape! :p