Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Unique Websites on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Friday, January 20, 2017).

Is a high bounce rate worth a few links to blog posts?

Is a high bounce rate worth a few links to blog posts?

We are a local web design company. 5 of our blog posts give a very comprehensive list of famous celebrities who have lived in / been influenced by our local area, with a few lines of unique content about each celebrity`s links with the area.

These pages have got a few links (Wikipedia, 1000s of Pinterest links and a few others).

Unfortunately, they also have a very high bounce rate (high traffic, about 90% bounce rate) as people from around the world, and throughout different ares of the UK, are clicking on them, reading the few lines about the celebrity of interest, and then bouncing away as they have no interest in the local area. (The pages were envisaged to be an interlinking set of comprehensive pages for local people; we have interlinked and created good content and design etc)

Are these 5 blog posts damaging our site as a whole? Would we be better off deleting them and sacrificing the links?

Would appreciate any advice.

PS The bounce rate for our normal sales pages is low but these blog pages are dragging our overall bounce rate up as they are high traffic.

This question begins at 00:15:45 into the clip. Did this video clip play correctly? Watch this question on YouTube commencing at 00:15:45
Video would not load
I see YouTube error message
I see static
Video clip did not start at this question

YOUR ANSWERS

Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Federico Sasso:
    Unless the low-targeted traffic from those pages is consuming too much bandwidth, I don`t see how it could damage you.
    Having a higher BR for that kind of pages is normal, and by itself does not impact your site "health".
  • Federico Sasso:
    + none of the above actually. BR as measured by Analytics is not taken into account for ranking. It`s a metric useful only within your own site.

    Users` behaviour signals (analyzing when users return to SERP after having clicked on a result, their dwell time, and so on) have long been discussed among SEOs and surely thoroughly tested by search engines.
    I personally think they are used, but not modelled with a simple formula, more likely with some neural networks. Users` behaviour analysis only makes sense on a per-URL basis, though (please notice this is my personal opinion, to the best of my knowledge we don`t have official statements from Google other than the old mantra "we don`t use Google Analytics BR").
  • Dave Elliott:
    Can you have a massive debate about if you think google pays attention to boince rates please!

    For me, they wont change your rankings if they notice a high bounce rate, but, they would be absolutely crazy if they, as part of thier machine learning processes don`t start rewriting thier algorithim based on bounce rates (and low time on page etc.). IF they can discern a pattern on multiple sites and quearies.

    If they are doing that then you are effectively being down ranked. So therefore, google do pay attention to br and so should you.
  • Unique Websites:
    Many thanks +  - when you say "neural networks", what are you meaning?

    My own personal view is that search engines SHOULD analalize time on page, scrolling down page etc rather than just whether you click to a different page in site; they SHOULD also differentiate between information posts with lots of small chunks of related information (as mine are), information posts that cover a single topic in detail and sales pages, but I wasn`t sure.
  • Unique Websites:
    Many thanks + - I wasn`t sure if Google works by the overall bounce rate or whether they are "smart enough" to work out that the main pages have a low bounce rate?
  • Unique Websites:
    Many thanks + for such an informative (and interesting) answer!!
  • Federico Sasso:
    Hi again +

    "Neural networks" are part of Artificial Intelligence. Simply put they are software devices which can be "trained" to output certain answers given certain inputs. Example: you feed a neural network the pic of a plane, and tell it the expected output is the word "airplane"; you feed it the pic of a dog, and tell it the expected output is the letter sequence "dog". During this training phase it adjusts the internal weights of a matrix in order to output the correct answer. Then when you`ll input the pic of a plan it will answer "airplane", a pic of a dog will output "dog", and given the pic of an elephant will likely answer it`s a dog.
    Notice: Google never stated nor denied using neural networks (but more and more they are employing AI and machine learning in their processes), I only mentioned it as an hypothesis and an example which cannot be modelled efficiently as a simple ratio as BR.

    I mostly agree with your SHOULDs.
    Both Google and Yandex I remember having made statements in the past about analyzing users` click behaviour, and recent SEO experiments confirmed you can influence ranking on Google (they were mostly focused on CTR, yet another simple ratio, with some back-to-SERP jumps).
    What Google and repeatedly strongly denied is using any metrics taken from Google Analytics.

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on G+, Friday, January 20, 2017).