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Is it a Google Ranking factor?

Is it a Google Ranking factor?

Raise your hand if you start your SEO day with the goal of trying to improve your bounce rate …

Anyone? Anyone?

All too often, SEO advice is given so often through so many different people that it can be difficult to distinguish facts from fiction.

And the bounce rate is just another victim of false information in the SEO community.

You’ve probably read SEO advice like this from Brian Dean of Backlinko, who supports this with his own “industry study.”

Screenshot from, September 2021

However, his “industry study” was quickly called to be “an effective piece of link bait” by the SEO community.


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It should have been a red flag when I saw the bounce rate paired with pogo-sticking, where he continued to spread false information.

Screenshot from, September 2021

To confirm, pogo-sticking is not a ranking factor. But I deviate.


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So what’s the truth – is rejection rate a ranking factor? Does the bounce rate affect your organic traffic?

Let’s investigate.

Requirement: Rejection percentage as a ranking factor

Rejection percentage reminds me of the reality TV spring series; it is full of unrealistic expectations and ends up raising your hopes. While the cast of “The Hills” seems to be trapped in a gorgeous hotel in Tulum, they are actually located at a Motel 6 in Miami.

This is how I see bounce rate when it comes to SEO.

So what is the bounce rate?

Bounce rate refers to the percentage of single engagement visits to your site. Google Analytics tracks the number of people who visit your site and go without seeing other pages on your site.

Bounce rate does not necessarily mean that you need to improve the quality of your site. The user feed on your site should be designed for your customer journey, not bounce rate.

Here are some myths, facts and truths you should know about how the bounce rate affects your ranking.

Rejection percentage as a ranking factor: The proof

On June 12, 2020, Google’s John Mueller confirmed that Google does not use bounce rate as a ranking factor in a webmaster hangout.

“I think there’s a little misconception here that we look at things like analytics bounce rate when it comes to ranking sites, and that’s certainly not the case.”


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There is historical data that supports this message.

On April 14, 2017, Google’s Gary Illyes said on Twitter, “Bounce rate is not a good signal.”

Screenshot from, September 2021

And way back in 2008, Google’s Matt Cutts said in a Sphinn forum that “bounce rates would not only be spam, but noisy.”


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“A search engine person recently sent me some questions about how the bounce rate is done at Google, and I was like, ‘Dude, I have no idea about things like. Bounce Rate. Why not talk to this cute Google Analytics evangelist who knows things like bounce rates? ‘I just do not even run into people talking about this in my daily life. ”

It is safe to say that bounce rate as a ranking factor is a myth.

Does bounce rate affect search rankings?

Bounce rate does not directly affect organic placement.

However, it indirectly affects other ranking factors that Google cares about — slow page speed, low quality design, poor mobile optimization, and so on.


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This is where time-on-page and bounce rate meet. Together, these metrics can tell you that you have created a great user experience.

If your webpage has a low bounce rate and high page time, your webpage is a great place.

A high time on the page indicates that your content is engaging – and creating an engaging site is a far better use of your time than trying to optimize for bounce rates.

Rejection percentage as a ranking signal: Our assessment

No, bounce rate is not a Google ranking factor.


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Bounce rate is just a measure – and a Google has repeatedly said that it does not directly affect Google’s rankings.

Need to track your bounce rate and try to improve it? Yes – because it’s a measure you can use to understand if your content is successful.

Improving your bounce rate will not help you rank better on Google. However, lowering your bounce rate is usually a good indicator that your content is engaging, valuable, or useful.

Although most in the SEO community have thoroughly rejected this idea as a myth, it somehow still continues.

So the next time a client, colleague, colleague or boss comes to you with 100% certainty that bounce rate is a Google ranking factor (thanks to some bad information they read), send them this article.


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You’re welcome!

Featured image: Paulo Bobita / SearchEngineJournal

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