How does a site's Bounce Rate factor in SEO?
When I ask this, I am speaking of a site's bounce rate and how it affects the ranking of the website.
Webmasters Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for pro webmasters. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
Bounce Rate is a major factor in how Google gauges user satisfaction with your site. A higher bounce rate can indicate dissatisfaction or satisfaction. Confused?
Some sites answers the users question immediately. In this case, a high bounce rate is good. Data driven sites are good for this. Still over-all, you want to reduce your bounce rate, and increase time spent on site, time spent on page, number of pages read, and returning visitors as much as you can. For blogs, you want your bounce rate as low as possible, but for these site rank type of sites, a higher bounce rate is a good indication of user satisfaction. In this case, Google measures satisfaction by whether or not a user clicks on another SERP link.
User satisfaction is paramount to Google. The reason is simple. Satisfaction with search results is how Google makes it's money. If your site appears to satisfy users, then Google wants to put your SERP links at the top of the list. And bounce rate is one of the few most important metrics that Google has.
What if a website does not have Google Analytics installed. In such a case Google has no chance of knowing the sites bounce rate. Will such a website never be able to dominate top positions in SERP's? There are rumors without evidence that Google uses bounce rate to rank websites.
Here is a post from 2012 that has Matt talking about bounce rates. Matt clearly says that Google does not use Analytics data to determine rankings. If visitors find information straight away and bounce, its not a bad thing.
Not sure if this has changed. One things certain, there is no official word from Google and I believe everything else in noise.