Interesting update we noticed the other day in Google AdWords for accounts that are linked with Google Analytics. You now have the ability to filter your ads performance by ‘Bounce Rate’ in the drop down menu…

AdWords Bounce Rate

For a while now Google have skirted around admitting that Bounce Rate is a factor that they look at when it comes to Quality Score for Google AdWords, but this latest update goes to show that this is something they are looking at for accounts that are linked with Google Analytics. Hence the pressure from Google for everyone and their aunt to use Google Analytics, more data for them.

But is this a bad thing?

We dont think so…it makes sense that if a user clicks on a PPC ad and then bounces off straight away as the landing page isn’t relevant to them, then it shows that the ad isn’t relevant either. As Quality Score is based on relevancy (allegedly!) then it makes sense that bounce rate is a factor in Quality Score, the lower your bounce rate the better the user experience the better Quality Score for your PPC campaigns.

So why all the secrecy?

We can only speculate, but we guess its because some jackasses who run a blog called Black Hat PPC (yeah sure that’s the reason!) will come along and let people know that there is a way to improve your bounce rate. We dont know at the moment whether Google is looking at bounce rate across all channels (direct, natural, etc) or whether it is just bounce rate on PPC as a channel. If their algorithm is looking at bounce rate across all channels, then its quite easy for someone to improve their bounce rate.

All you would have to do is reload pages on your website over and over again at 30 second intervals and you would see your bounce rate decrease. If you bounce rate decreases then in theory you should improve your Quality Score which in turn results in you paying less in CPC’s (cost per click, but if you dont know what CPC is by now, you need to be reading PPC Hero not Black Hat PPC :-) ) So people could ‘game the system’ in theory and pay less for their clicks…this is not what Google want obviously as its all about the money!

We cant prove this is the case or not, but it is something we are testing and would be interested to hear from anyone who has noticed changes in their Quality Score of their accounts that are linked with Google Analytics, to see if it has improved or not since this latest update last week that shows Google is looking at bounce rate.

Brought to you by Black Hat PPC.

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  1. Dennis says:

    I think Google don’t look at the Analytics bounce rate but to the dwell-time. You click on an ad and return to Google again within a couple of seconds.

  2. Dave says:

    I agree with Dennis – dwell time seems more realistic and more measurable from Google’s perspective – after all, not everyone uses Google Analytics. It would also make gaming the system much more difficult.

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