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Do links within articles increase bounce rate?

 10:36 pm on Feb 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

e.g. an article is well written and it has 2-3 outgoing links to examples and sources. A visitor, while reading the article, clicks on those links and hits backpage to come back to your site. Does that count as a bounce since the reader visited your site and then left it(even if they returned)?

Would opening external links in a new window lower the bounce rate? Time on site is also important, if they click a link within 10 seconds and come back to finish reading you're still going to get the "0-10 seconds" rating for that visitor.

How would you best ensure that your bounce rate and time on site rating are not impacted by links to sources within articles? This seems like an question with an obvious answer but it's got its nuances, such as the mystery on how Google handles this type of behavior.



 5:11 am on Feb 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

I would think that the main thing Google looks at is whether the user returns to their search results (or how quickly they return).

It's also the most consistent thing that they can monitor without getting messy by considering Analytics and Adsense data (which not everyone has).

My view is that people clicking on your page and then clicking through to another page from there should not affect your rankings. If you are providing those links on the page for a valid reason, then I think it's good. In fact, if those links are really useful, then it will mean the searcher doesn't have to go back to Google. So it can even be seen as an improvement in your metrics. If those links are poor, then the person might well head straight back to Google and affect your metrics negatively. Worth considering who you link to for that reason!

Note: if you're just asking a question about how Google Analytics is reporting on those metrics, then that's a separate topic. But since you posted in this in the SEO forum, I assume you are asking how high bounce rates might affect your rankings.


 7:34 am on Mar 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

i think it is beneficial . Large volumes volumes of first-time visitors will increase the bounce rate of your website.


 8:34 am on Mar 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

It darn well better look good to g###, because it has to be good for humans. Sooner or later people will leave your site. Wouldn't you rather have them go where you sent them? It means that even if you don't have what they want, they think highly enough of your site that they're prepared to take your suggestions instead of going back to the search engine to start over.


 8:42 am on Mar 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

Of course I want to send people to the right places if they didn't find what they wanted, but I also don't want to be displeasing the google data gathering machine by doing something "silly" that a normal visitor won't even notice or care about.

I'm asking on how to keep bounce rates to a minimum and time on site to a maximum from an SEO perspective and focusing on links within articles (and how you can best handle them).

- open in new window vs existing window
- javascript vs html
- redirect page vs straight to source


I do focus on what makes sense for visitors but SEO is rarely noticed by visitors. I want the best of both worlds.

[edited by: Sgt_Kickaxe at 8:47 am (utc) on Mar 5, 2012]


 8:45 am on Mar 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

If you send a lot of people to some other place, maybe Google should directly list that other place, and not list you.



 8:50 am on Mar 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

If I discuss a topic or write an article/guide and say "WW had a great discussion on part of this subject here" with a link I don't think Google may even consider both articles about the same subjects. They overlap but are not the same. How do I link to WW from inside articles while minimizing the negative bounce rate and time on site effects?

Just asking for feedback by anyone who has tried several ways. Perhaps my title was a bit off, it should have been about which ways minimize the effects of all that are available.


 10:26 am on Mar 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

Lowering BR and increasing time on site are somewhat different.
[please forgive me that my English is not 100%]
Consider these activities -
Lowering BR:
1. Related articles at the bottom of your articles.
2. 2-3 links inside articles are OK. It doesn't matter how you create them (open in new windows or not) as long as they are very related, useful and helpful.
3. The article must be well written. With a good intro, body etc etc. Your are selling your story - make your pitch worth reading.
4. Structure your website so that it will be easy to navigate.
5. Tell the reader where s/he is located - "the article is filed under "XYZ" directory so that they can find their way to other articles on this directory or tag.

Time on Site:
1. Embed a video at the bottom of the article (or at the middle) with supporting information.
2. Make any article top notch so the quality can be recognized easily.
3. Make it easy to navigate between sections of the site. the right sidebar must be appealing.
4. Add popular/featured articles/videos on the sidebar.
5. Add good images (unique is better).
6. Open the comments area of the site and engage with the readers.

Bottom of the article is the best area to:
Ask the visitors to fan your Facebook page, follow you on twitter. (Leave G+ it will fade up gradually.)
Ask visitors to register your site. Create a FAQ area.
Tell who you are and who your writers are. Let the readers be curious to find out more information about the site.

Show that you are "a community" and treat any reader as if she is the last reader from Google or from any search engines.
If you follow (some) of these steps you may get to 3.5 page per visits and more than 3 seconds per reader.
You also increase your chance of making your site not Google dependent, which is what I think Google is chasing for since Panda.
++ Some other top tricks -
1. Offer free eBooks. Not garbage, but something that other competitors sell. Give it free. Send them to the download area.
2. Offer free web service that they reader cannot find easily.
3. Offer video tutorial: Send the visitors to the video section of the site and they won't leave your site for decades..


 5:33 pm on Mar 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

If you send a lot of people to some other place, maybe Google should directly list that other place, and not list you.


... and vice versa, so ideally it should average out. But when all is said and done, g### is only a computer, and sometimes you have to read its mind to figure out the right search string. "Yes! That's what I was looking for! Why couldn't the stupid search engine understand that?"

open in new window vs existing window

Please don't open full-fledged independent pages in a new window. It tends to annoy people. In fact the w3c folks thought long and hard about leaving "target='_blank'" out of the HTML 5 standard, but luckily came to their senses because it does have its uses.

But seriously... g### don't distinguish between bounces do they? If someone leaves your site they've left your site and that's all that counts. (That's from the tracking/analytics side. The search engine may not be able to tell where you went; they can only tell where you didn't go.)


 12:02 pm on Mar 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

Yes it is really beneficial with quality and good content links are the sources..so Nice article also plays a vital roe in Google.

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