Google Says, Bounce Rates For Search Rankings "Spammable" & "Noisy"

Dec 24, 2008 • 10:41 am | comments (5) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

We recently covered a comment from Googler JohnMu on if click data is used in Google for ranking purposes. Of course, John gave the typical Google response.

But now we have a comment from Matt Cutts of Google at a Sphinn thread, where it appears that Matt has completely denied the rumors that Google may be using click data (aka bounce rate) to rank web pages.

Matt said:

Without reading the article, I'll just say that bounce rates would be not only spammable but noisy. A search industry person recently sent me some questions about how bounce rate is done at Google and I was like "Dude, I have no idea about any things like bounce rate. Why don't you talk to this nice Google Analytics evangelist who knows about things like bounce rate?" I just don't even run into people talking about this in my day-to-day life.

So this seems to me that Google seems not to take into account people clicking from Google's search results to a web page and then clicking on the back button. This is the strongest statement on the topic I have seen from a Googler to this date.

I also recommend checking out and see his analysis about all of this.

Forum discussion at Sphinn.

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Umit Namli

12/24/2008 08:29 pm

Just a quick comment. I haven't read any of the articles you've linked to. But it would be weird if the bounce rate was used for ranking purposes. Why you ask? Placing your analytics code twice on the same page will reduce the bounce rate to as low as 10%. So using the bounce rate as a ranking factor wouldn't make any sense since it's too easy to manipulate.


12/25/2008 10:13 pm

I think it is not the analytics bounce rate they are talking about. It measured by the SERP page itself by counting the number of visitors coming from a URL that is listed in the SERP itself. very simple to check it by Google.

Doug Heil

12/26/2008 01:41 pm

I don't know why this was and has been a question at all. Some crazy stuff to think about arises if any quality search engine started using bounce rates in the algo. Didn't some engine called Direct Hit use bounce rates? worked out well. just saying.

Sajal Kayan

12/29/2008 05:11 am

I think Matt Cuts says only what Google wants you to know... After reading on the bounce rates issues at , since last 2 days ive been experimenting with my layout and improved bounce rate by 2% to 3% ... Since then google traffic has been increasing. So im sure somehow they are looking at it. The kind of website I operate, most users would just read one page and go away, apparently Google doesnt like it.


01/19/2009 06:13 pm

Who cares what Google thinks about your website? What would you rather have: 1. A site that gets 1,000 visitors a day, ranks #1 for your keyword but 100% bounce rate. 2. A site that gets 1,000 visitors a day but a 0% bounce rate?

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