Sunday, January 11, 2009

Disadvantages of SEO Bounce Rates

There has been lots of debate regarding the incorporation of bounce rates into the algorithm of SEO’s. During late 2007, webmasters were finding a contrasting difference in their ranking of major keywords by altering the bounce rates. Such fluctuations are not convincing proofs of the impact of bounce rates. In the near future bounce rates will be influential in algorithm of SEO’s. Microsoft has been investing their energy on BrowseRank which in turn is dependant on bounce rates.

Some common objections regarding bounce rates are:
  1. There is no formal definition of the term “bounce rates”. This is not a convincing argument. Bounce is a situation when someone abandons a website and returns to their respective source.
  2. The way Google Analytics defines bounce is objectionable to many.
  3. Many sites do not avail the services of Google Analytics and hence Google is not supposed to have authentic data. This is a very confusing objection because Google Analytics has nothing to do with the state of affairs. The issue is how Google or any other company traces their traffic and how do the users report back to their websites.
  4. There is a lingering objection over the threshold duration regarding a bounce. There is no specific threshold time for a bounce. On the other hand various search engines define bounce on different grounds. You will not be informed regarding the lag times. Bounce lag times are not fixed. It changes daily.
  5. There can be cases when people can click on an alien link and abandon the current site. Users may find some external links vary useful and switch to it. This is not at all a case of bounce. If someone presses the back button then it is a case of bounce.
  6. What happens if the user closes the window quickly? This also not a case of bounce unless some search engines considers them. This trait does not go with the definition.
  7. Can a bounce be good at times or does a bounce means that the person has found what they demand? The objection is true for rare cases. A bounce is totally dependant on the actions of the user for which the users need time to react which is provided by lag time.
  8. There can be cases where people look for multiple sources to compare results or products or to seek a second opinion. Many sites will be victimized if such a situation is categorized under bounce. The above argument is illogical. If a person bounces from a site to another then all the websites are affected in the same manner. Since rankings are in the relative sense, hence the rankings will not be disturbed at all.
  9. Can I set up a dummy and visit the sites of the top competitors and leave their site after sometime to make it appear that their sites are bouncy?
This is definitely an option. You can in fact become creative in the field and come up with unique ideas.

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