Why Google hates Pogo-sticking more than high bounce rate

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Pogo-sticking Vs Bounce rate and effects on search engine ranking

According to Cyrus Shepherd from Moz, the number one ranking factor used by major search engines like Google is ‘User Satisfaction.’

Bounce rates and pogo-sticking are two ways to assess how useful a website’s content is to a user. Most people assume bounce rate and pogo-sticking refer to the same thing. Interestingly, the team at Foster Web Marketing conceive of pogo sticking as bounce rate’s devious cousin. Or maybe, pogo-sticking is the mischievous sibling that always makes bounce rate look like an angel.

They are very similar terms, but pogo sticking has a negative impact on the search ranking of a website. So what then is bounce rate and pogo-sticking?

  • Bounce rate: Bounce rate refers to the rate of visitors to a website who navigate away from the site after viewing a single page. Website owners strive for a lower bounce rate as it indicates their contents are more engaging. A high bounce rate is not always a cause for alarm; it could mean users find answers to their search queries on the page of landing. Also, users can bookmark or share the page on social media, hence the bounce rate.
  • Pogo-sticking: In SEO, pogo-sticking negatively impacts the search ranking of a web page. So what is pogo-sticking? Pogo-sticking occurs when a user performs a search, clicks on the search results leading to a website and quickly reverts to the search engine result page. The said user then clicks on a different result. This indicates the user is completely dissatisfied with the first click hence a return to the search engine result page. The view of digital marketing expert Neil Patel on pogo-sticking goes thus, “That’s pogosticking- where the user is jumping back and forth between the SERP and content pages, because their needs haven’t been met.”

Why Pogo-sticking will hurt your ranking and overall traffic

Google doesn’t like pogo sticking and the reason is very clear. When users consistently visit your web page but fail to spend time to read the contents but go back to visit a different site on the top ten search results, it becomes apparent that users are not satisfied. Pogo sticking takes place within the first five seconds of a user visiting your website. As earlier stated, it shows your website is not doing a good job in answering the search queries from users.  A high rate of pogo-sticking will negatively impact organic ranking and traffic.

Common causes of Pogo Sticking

  • Mismatch between the content and Title/Meta description tags: Imagine a search result on Google with a title tag: ‘The modern social media tools’ and a visit on the actual web page present an article on ‘travel insurance.’ That‘s a complete mismatch which will lead to pogo-sticking.
  • A spammy content: This occurs when a title tag over promises and the actual content under delivers. A good example will be a title tag on ‘The 10 ways to reducing your Ad Words spend’ and landing on a web page of about a paragraph with little or no value.
  • Spelling and grammatical errors: Contents with a lot of grammatical and spelling errors can demean the value of the website and lead to pogo-sticking. This is in line with a statement from Matt Cutts, Google’s head of web spam on how spelling and grammatical errors affect search rankings.
  • The poor relationship between web content and the focus of the website: A good example of this is viewing an article on how to make Lasagne on a drainage company’s website.

Google dislikes pogo- sticking like a plague, as providing valuable content to the user is paramount. The best way to grow your ranking and traffic is by providing useful contents.

If you would like to find out how the team at Cariad Marketing can help reduce the pogo-sticking of your search results and improve your overall website traffic, get in touch today for a chat, or better still pop by for a cuppa and a cookie!

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