In today’s hangout with John Mueller we busted another SEO myth – negative impact of bounce-back to search results.
If people return to search result after visiting your website that is not a reliable negative signal for your website. The reason Google doesn’t rely on dwell-time in their ranking algorithm is due to the fact that some users may compare information from different sources. Returning to results and comparing “answers” with other websites is not strictly a bad thing and doesn’t mean the first result provided poor information or bad user experience.
Google does use bounce-back mechanism to improve user experience (offering more content from the same author or blocking websites). In my opinion they still may use dwell-time as a small signal in combination with many other things, but as we learn from our chat with John, that signal alone is insufficient to determine what a bad website is.
Jump straight to the discussion about dwell-time and bounce back to search results.