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High bounce part of site hurting entire site?

     
6:44 pm on Jul 30, 2018 (gmt 0)

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joined:Sept 25, 2016
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Our website is really 2 different sites. Same general topic, but 2 logically different areas:

a) One part is highly interactive, lots of stickiness.
b) Second part is a question/answer section which results in incredibly high bounce rate (90%+). Why? Because people usually come in from search engines, get their answer, and are either happy and need to do nothing more, or back out to verify what our information says.

This (b) part is worth keeping because it does provide useful information, and offers references to visitors for future study. It is fairly popular, earns good ad revenue, etc.

BUT, our entire domain and the interactive / sticky part of our site seems to be hurting. Google has slowly dropped us in the SERPs month after month, year after year. Our content is great vs competing websites in all our core keywords, and it makes no sense that our site domain-wide is constantly getting hit.

All that I can think of is that it is the high-bounce area that hurting our entire site, dragging the domain down as a whole.

Questions:

1. Does this make sense? Can a high-bounce, low-time-on-page part of a site damage an entire domain's SERPs? Even for areas that are not high bounce?

2. Assuming I don't want to just delete this part of the site (I don't), should I move this high-bounce part of the site to a subdomain? highbounce.domain.com ? Would google treat domain.com and highbounce.domain,com as separate websites as far as time-on-site, bounce statistics are concerned? Or, would I need to move this stuff to a newdomain.com to have any chance of stopping this section infecting our main site?

Thanks for your thoughts
9:33 pm on July 30, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Has anyone done this sort of thing before? Split off content that may be harming other core parts of a site into its own entity? If so, how did it work out?
10:32 pm on July 30, 2018 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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One more question. How much contact is there between the two parts of the site? Obviously if people come straight into example.highbounce* they're not sticking around--but how often do they hop over from example.lowbounce? Other than currently all being part of example.com, what's the relationship between the two?

* I think this is the law-abiding way to identify the two components, without accidentally venturing into, I dunno, legitimate vendors of tennis balls and bouncy castles?
11:00 pm on July 30, 2018 (gmt 0)

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joined:Sept 25, 2016
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"How much contact is there between the two parts of the site? "

Not a whole lot. Highbounce gives us newsletter sign-ups for our main site (similar topic), and the occasional visitor will venture over to the main site. So from a real-life point of view they can be separated easily.

From a SEO standpoint, we would lose the link power from the highbounce area.... but if it's considered low quality by google, that might not be a bad thing. There are some external links into the highbounce from various websites, but they are relatively small to the large number of pages in the highbounce area.
1:46 am on Aug 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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The disavow is a lie I have proven in numerous experiments and does not do anything or will not help in this scenario.

However what is causing the problem I have no idea. We would need to take a look at look at your url, your Google analytics, your search console it would take many hours. You almost certainly need a professional to do this.
3:48 am on Aug 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Hi dmjosh and Welcome to WebmasterWorld [webmasterworld.com]

We would need to take a look at look at your url, your Google analytics, your search console it would take many hours.
Unfortunately we do not review or analyze sites here. The only part of the forums where we discuss specific URLs is here: [webmasterworld.com...] ;)

4:47 am on Aug 1, 2018 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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The disavow is a lie I have proven in numerous experiments and does not do anything or will not help in this scenario.

dmjosh, the disavow has not been mentioned in this thread, and I don't see anything else here that would relate to it. Why have you brought it up?

I'm sure that many of us could name lots of things that would not help in this scenario.