June 18, 2021

Google’s John Mueller Says Pogo-Sticking isn’t a Ranking Signal

John Mueller of Google reveals that “pogo-sticking” is not used as an organic ranking signal for its proprietary SERP performance…

Google employs a largely secretive amount of algorithms for organic ranking purposes. Some are well-known, while others remain unacknowledged. But now, we know at least one particular user behavior isn’t used as a metric.

Pogo-Sticking Not a Google Search Ranking Factor

During a recent Google Webmaster Central hangout, Google’s John Mueller was asked the following question:

“If we’ve got some legacy content, or content that maybe we’ve neglected and could be focusing our efforts elsewhere, and the user clicks on that, has a poor experience, and clicks back to the SERP. That’s obviously bad for SEO. Is that something that would affect that page only, or would it have an effect on the rest of the website?”

What’s being asked is how Google regards so-called “pogo-sticking,” or the practice of hopping from SERP links to pages and then back again. It’s a common belief this negatively impacts pages as searchers quickly abandon them. But, Mueller states that just isn’t the case. He confirms Google does not factor that behavior into its ranking measurements.

Here’s the answer: 

“We try not to use signals like that when it comes to search. So that’s something where there are lots of reasons why users might go back and forth, or look at different things in the search results, or stay just briefly on a page and move back again. I think that’s really hard to refine and say ‘well, we could turn this into a ranking factor.’

So I would not worry about things like that. When we look at our algorithms overall, when we review which algorithm changes that we want to launch, we do look into how users react to these changes. But that’s something we look at across millions of different queries, and millions of different pages, and kind of see in general is this algorithm going the right way or is this algorithm going in the right way.

But for individual pages I don’t think that’s something worth focusing on at all.”

Watch the video here, the question and answer begin about 51:15…

Owen E. Richason IV

Covers social media, apps, search and like news. History buff, movie and theme park lover. Blessed dad and husband. Owen is also a musician and is the founder of Groove Modes.          

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