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I made a site for a Comedy Club, they are associated with a fairly well known hotel (the shows will be there and the tickets are sold there), and we asked them to put a link to our website where all the info about the show is; they have a really good position in google.

They refused and made us copy/paste all our info on to a blog post in their website arguing that putting a link to our website will increase their bounce rate.

Is there a good argument to make them change their minds?

Update: Forgot to mention that I don't speak directly with hotel, my client does. So I'm looking for ideas that my client can explain to them and both parties can understand since they are not developers.

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  • Unless I am missing something, this should not effect bounce rates, however, a link can take a user from their page. This is easily remedied by using target="_blank" to force a new tab. Search engines cannot measure a user following an on-site link. Perhaps they are talking about their Google Analytics. Even then, this does not effect search performance since the two are not tied together. You might want to ask them how they feel this would effect their bounce rate. Then you can factually address the issue. Also come armed with positive arguments.
    – closetnoc
    Feb 12, 2015 at 18:03
  • Make sure they use a canonical URL to the original content so you get credit for it.
    – John Conde
    Feb 12, 2015 at 18:20
  • I commented the use of target="_blank" and giving credit but they still refused =s
    – Turqueso
    Feb 12, 2015 at 20:41
  • @ShairNash sounds to me like they don't want to share or the person you are talking to is has no idea what he/she is talking about. Former would be my guess.
    – dasickle
    Feb 12, 2015 at 20:55
  • @dasickle I guess the same, maybe they know what is bounce rate but don't really understands how it works.
    – Turqueso
    Feb 12, 2015 at 21:18

3 Answers 3

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They refused and made us copy/paste all our info on to a blog post in their website arguing that putting a link to our website will increase their bounce rate.

Assuming we are talking about Bounce Rate the way it is commonly defined, it shouldn't. The only way having a link from their site to yours would increase the bounce rate is as so:

  1. Visitor comes to the hotel site from Google.
  2. Visitor sees the link to your site on the hotel site when it wasn't there before and gets massively offended.
  3. Visitor slams the Back button on the browser, goes back to Google.

I think the chances of this happening are pretty remote^ so the hotel likely has other reasons for not wanting to link to you. There are all sorts of reasons why they prefer to do it that way (control of content, fear of linking to a low-value resource, policy from ownership/management to NOT link to certain kinds of sites, etc.) and they are simply misusing the words "bounce rate" in their answer to you.


^ We'll assume the name of the comedy club isn't offensive in any way whatsoever to a rational adult. "Hitler's House of Hijinks" may, in fact, increase a linking site's bounce rate.

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    I almost spilled my coffee over the keyboard reading this, made my morning. But the name of the club is not offensive, so what you say about others reasons could be a possibility. Thank you!
    – Turqueso
    Feb 16, 2015 at 17:34
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In my opinion, linking to the comedy club from the section on the hotel's page that advertises the show would be relevant. Especially, if a user is interested in purchasing tickets from the hotel and looking to learn more about the act.

JCL1178 provides a great answer about why it is doubtful that the link would affect the bounce rate of the hotel's page. This behavior is documented below.

In Analytics, a bounce is calculated specifically as a session that triggers only a single request to the Analytics server, such as when a user opens a single page on your site and then exits without triggering any other requests to the Analytics server during that session. - Google

Another reason the link to the comedy club is unlikely to affect the hotel's bounce rate is because it is more likely that the session is already "engaged" by the time they cross the info about the comedy act.

An engaged session is a session that lasts longer than 10 seconds, has a conversion event, or has at least 2 pageviews or screenviews. - Google

Thus, in order for link to affect the bounce rate of the hotel's page, it would have to be clicked within 10 seconds of the user landing on it. The hotel people were either ignorant or had an ulterior motive - back in 2015...perhaps "diluting their page rank".

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I understand it's been almost 9 years, but this still comes up in the sidebar.

Having read www.seobythesea.com/2012/11/google-reachability-scores/, the hotel's concern does not sound unrealistic. It's actually a good job on their part.

Someone clicks on a search result, and while there they find links to other resources that they might click upon. Different user behaviors recorded by a search engine might be monitored to determine how people interact with the first, or primary resource visited, and similar user behavior signals may also be looked at for pages or videos or other resources linked to from that resource. Reachability scores might also be calculated for those secondary resources linked to from the first resource, looking at the third or tertiary pages and other resources linked to from the secondary resources.

Bill Slawski concluded the above after analysing the patent by Google themselves:

Methods, systems, and apparatus, including computer programs encoded on a computer storage medium, for determining a resource’s reachability score.

In one aspect, a method includes identifying one or more secondary resources reachable through one or more links of a primary resource wherein the secondary resources are within a number of hops from the primary resource; determining an aggregate score for the primary resource based on respective scores of the secondary resources wherein each one of the respective scores is calculated based on prior user interactions with a respective secondary resource, and providing the aggregate score as an input signal to a resource ranking process for the primary resource when the primary resource is represented as a search result responsive to a query.

Make sure you read the discussion under the Bill's post as well.

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  • The patent link doesn't work Nov 13, 2023 at 16:04
  • Much respect for sharing Bill's work (RIP), however, I don't think that a reachability score is relevant in this context. IF placing the link (the secondary resource) on the page decreased the hotel's reachability score it might decrease the ranking of the hotel's page, not their bounce rate. My understanding is that this system is or was used to understand page quality and relevancy during a time when link spam was at it's highest. Nov 13, 2023 at 16:24

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