Pogo-sticking in SEO is the practice as going back and forth from a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) to different results.
In other words, pogo-sticking is when the searcher clicks on a link on a result page, sees that it’s not what he/she is looking for, and immediately bounces off by hitting the back button.
The searcher then chooses another result from the results page to satisfy what he/she is looking for. If the searcher likes the content, he/she stays on the page and reduces the likelihood of bouncing off from the site. This event is measured in Google Analytics under the term Bounce rate.
Okay, You may wonder then whats the difference between Pogo-Sticking and Bounce rate?
The answer is there is actually some difference between
Pogo-Sticking and Bounce rate?
The Difference between Pogo-Sticking and Bounce rate
To understand pogo-sticking, we need to understand the differences between bounce rate and
- Bounce rate: Bounce rate is defined as “the percentage of visitors who visit a single page on a website.” A high bounce rate doesn’t always mean it is bad. It can mean that while the searcher didn’t navigate deeper into a site or into other web pages, he did spend some time on the page and get an answer to his query. Since he didn’t read more, it is considered as a bounce.
- Pogo sticking: Pogo sticking occurs when a user performs a search, clicks on a result, very quickly clicks back to the search engine result page (SERP), and clicks on a different result. This type of behavior is a direct result of dissatisfaction in the search result.
Is Pogo-Sticking a Google Ranking Factor?
Many SEO experts has argued that pogo-sticking is a ranking factor and some others opposed the idea.
Google’s John Mueller has revealed that pogo-sticking is not a signal when it comes to ranking search results.
John Muller, Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst
“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.”
Ranking search results based on pogo-sticking is not refined as it is hard to pinpoint the real reason of the pogo-sticking.
For every search result, there’s some different pogo-sticking rate. A great page may have low pogo-sticking rates. There are many reasons why pogo-sticking happens and it may not have
Common Causes of Pogo-Sticking
Issues related to Content:
- The content is full of grammatical and spelling errors.
- The site is spammy. (The site may have lot of annoying ads or the content is thin and doesn’t address the problem)
- The content doesn’t matches with the Title or Meta description. (Title says, “10 Amazing ways to make money” and the content is no where related as the title promised.)
- Slow Page Loading Speed.
- The UI/UX of the site outdated or not user-friendly.
- Usability issues
- Too many pop-up windows.
- No SSL certifications for the site. (Web browsers gives security warnings when landed on non-SSL sites)
- Videos that auto-play
How Do I Know If I Have a Pogo-Sticking Issue, and How Do I Fix It?
Google Analytics doesn’t report pogo-sticking issues. You can correlate the issue with high bounce rates to your pages.
If you see higher bounce rates than normal, dig deeper to understand the issue closely.
From Webmaster (Search Console), look for keywords that rank for that particular pages. See if the keyword correlates to the content.
See if your content is outdated or not. Update contents regularly to keep the content fresh.