In my article last week, I talked about some of the new changes to Google’s algorithm and how it impacts your website’s rankings. One of those changes was the addition of Google+ and how “bounce rate”or how long someone actually stays on your website affects how Google ranks your site in the search results. There are pros and cons to this new change. It may be great for you if people stay on your site or really bad if you have a high bounce rate.
We’ll Start With the Good News
Let’s start by addressing what happens if someone STAYS on your site for a while. What’s “a while”? Well, that’s up in the air, but some people have found that if they stayed on a site longer than 7 minutes and then hit the back button to return to their original search results, then Google added a pop-up notification on the search listing asking them if they had found the page useful. Not only that, Google goes on to encourage them to +1 the page in order to recommend it to others on Google search.
Wow, what a great promotion for your site. Google decided that because someone stayed on your site longer than an “average” amount of time, then they must really like the site and would want to recommend it to others through Google’s +1 social media platform.
Now the Bad News
On the other hand, if someone stays on your site for a relatively short period of time and then hits the back button to return to their original search results, Google may add a new message to your search listing on the search results page asking them if they would like to block this listing from their search results! In fact, it will be a link that says, “Block all www.site.com results” (where site.com is your site they just left). That link will allow them to block your site from ever showing up in their search results again. Pretty harsh!
That doesn’t mean that your site that they blocked from their search results will not show up for other people’s search results. But if your site gets blocked by a lot of people, will Google decide that your site should not show up in the search results at all? Hmmm.
It’s Important To Get It Right
Bottom line, you need to be sure that your website is “sticky”, meaning when people come to your site it offers them what they are looking for in an interesting and clear manner. You may think your site has everything people are looking for, but if it’s not clear to the visitor and they don’t immediately understand where they are and what they can do and why it’s best to do it on your site, then there is a good chance that your visitor will hit the dreaded Back Button.
So, it’s never been more important to ensure that your site is ready for prime time. If you’re unsure if your site can withstand the Back Button, Xcellimark can help you evaluate what needs to be done to fix the issues.