Table of contents
- How pogo-sticking impact your page rank?
- Top 5 causes for Pogo Sticking?
- What are the best practices that can help us minimize pogo-sticking?
- Are Bounce rate & Pogo Sticking the same?
Pogo sticking in SEO is the act of user expressing dissatisfaction by going back to SERP (Search Engine Results Page) immediately after clicking on a search result to visit a page.
When we query a search engine (like Google) for something, We expect the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) to display the pages that best match our search intent. Search engines will do their best to keep the pages with related content at the top of the list. Still, Many reasons could lead the user to hit the back button & go back to the SERP.
For Example, Let’s say I am hungry and am looking for a quick chicken recipe. Like most people, I would open Google and search with the key phrase “Quick chicken recipe.” Google would then display multiple snippets which are having chicken recipes. Naturally, I would open the first page, and let’s say the page shows that the total cooking time is one hour. I am a starving person and wouldn’t want to go through the recipe as it would take 1 hour to cook. I would immediately go back to the SERP to check out the other results. Going back to the SERP without spending a significant amount of time on the page that I clicked on shows my dissatisfaction about the search result and is called pogo-sticking.
Pogo sticking is how usually a user expresses immediate dissatisfaction in the search result.
Unlike pogo-sticking, a high bounce rate is not always alarming. If the page provides all the answers to the user’s questions, which is a good thing, the user may not travel any deep into your site. Some users may find the page very interesting but don’t have time to read it. They may bookmark the page to read it later. But the user didn’t spend much time at your page in both these instances resulting increased bounce rate. However, we are good to ignore high bounce rates due to these kinds of positive actions.
How pogo-sticking impact your page rank?
Search engines are believed to keep a tab on pogo-sticking and reorder the ranks of pages for key phrases accordingly. The first result in SERP couldn’t provide what I was looking for in the above example, but the second result could. If a significant number of users searching for “quick chicken recipe” is feeling the same way, Google would promote the second result to the first place. So pogo-sticking is a direct indication to the search engines that your page is not having all the required information related to the user’s search intent.
Top 5 causes for Pogo Sticking?
There are many potential reasons for a user to pogo stick. Here we are listing the top 5 causes.
1. Content is irrelevant to the user’s search intent
It is crucial to focus on search intent while doing keyword research and providing accurate title, metadata & structured data.
2. Content is spammy or loaded with keyword stuffing
Don’t even think of these methods even if you are desperate for better page rank, domain authority, or monetization. These black hat techniques will increase the pogo-sticking & bounce rate and even lead to a penalty.
Search engines these days are well equipped with advanced systems like term frequency-inverse document frequency (TF-IDF), latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA), latent semantic indexing (LSI) to determine the quality of the content and flag spammy & keyword-stuffed content.
3. Lots of Grammer & spelling mistakes
Grammar & spelling mistakes indicate spam, and the user may quickly turn back to SERP if it looks like spammy content.
4. Outdated content or UX design
Ensure you keep the contents of the articles and the UX design of your website up to date. Use the tools like PageSpeed Insights, Google Search Console (to measure page experience) & Rich Results Test, which help us optimize the website for better page speeds and user experience.
5. Too many advertisements and popups
What are the best practices that can help us minimize pogo-sticking?
1. Display the related content
Displaying internal links to the related content can help you keep the user stay on your website for a longer time and reduce pogo-sticking.
2. Make sure your page content covers everything related to the user’s query
We have to ensure that we provide end-to-end information and have hyperlinks to the articles explaining any new terms/keywords that we are introducing while explaining what the user initially asked.
3. Concentrate on pages with a high bounce rate
We can use tools like Google Analytics to find out the pages of your website with high bounce rates and work on improving the same.
4. Text runs forever
Please remember that too much text may put your visitor to sleep. Plenitude of text with zero visual breaks can make it boring, hard to concentrate, and strain their eyes.
It would be best to break this text with relevant infographics, photos and divide it into multiple sections.
5. Add table of contents (TOC)
If your page has a lot of information, but the user is interested in just a specific part of the article, Adding TOC can help the visitor quickly navigate the page.
Are Bounce rate & Pogo Sticking the same?
No. Bounce rate & Pogo Sticking are not the same. Bounce rate is the rate or percentage of your page visitors who visit a single page of your website and then leave. Pogo sticking refers to user’s dissatisfaction with search results and turning back to SERP to check out other search results.
Unlike pogo-sticking, a high bounce rate is not always alarming. If the page provides all the answers to the user’s questions, which is a good thing, the user may not travel any deep into your site. Some users may find the page very interesting but don’t have time to read it. They may bookmark the page to read it later.
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