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Do You Think View Duration Counts Toward Ranking in the Serps?

  1. Benjimester profile image90
    Benjimesterposted 6 years ago

    I noticed that one of the Hubmetrics numbers on hubs is view duration.  It tells you how long people stay glued to each of your hubs before clicking away for something else.  I know that Google measures view duration as well.  Do you think that pages that get viewed longer are naturally boosted in the Serps?  Or is it too easily manipulated and therefore discounted?

    1. Sally's Trove profile image99
      Sally's Troveposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      That HP metric is there for a reason. Given that HP and Google have a certain symbiotic relationship (after all, that's how we get our AdSense revenue...a good handshake between the two), I'd guess duration is a factor.

      I'm curious: How do you think duration could be manipulated on HP?

  2. kephrira profile image59
    kephriraposted 6 years ago

    Do you mean that google measures view duration in analytics? Not all sites use google analytics you know.

    I don't see how they could get reliable enough information to use this in their ranking algorhythm.

    1. pauldeeds profile image
      59
      pauldeedsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      They can measure the time when someone clicks out from search results and when (and if) they hit the back button.  I don't have any inside knowledge, but if I were building a search engine I'd use data from that extensively when determining whether a particular search result is a good fit for a term.

      1. profile image0
        ryankettposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Paul, do you have the highest 'followers to hubs' ratio on Hubpages, excluding those with zero hubs?

      2. kephrira profile image59
        kephriraposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        I'm sure they use bounce rate - the number of people going straight back to the search engine to look for something else - but if someone doesn't go straight back to the search engine they wouldn't know, and if they do go straight back to the search engine then they probably didn't find what they were looking for, so what does it matter how long it took them to realize the site was useless to them?

        1. Pcunix profile image88
          Pcunixposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          I think the idea is that if you stayed a bit, it WAS useful.

          For many types of pages, bounce rate is meaningless.  Specifically consider pages that answer serious computer or medical problems.  The person finding the right answer reads it and then likely rushes off to implement it - bounce rate at or near 100%.

          Or consider someone researching.  I do this all the time: do a search, visit the page, copy the URL and perhaps some text to remind me and then back to the search to look at the next page. 
          I might never go back - the info I copied is what I need for my research and I have the URL if I am going to reference it.  100% bounce but the pages are very meaningful (at least the ones I copied the url from are).

          1. kephrira profile image59
            kephriraposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            If they find something and rush off to use it, then the bounce rate isn't 100%, its 0% - a bounce would be if they click back on their browser and search for something else. Just leaving the page isn't a bounce, because everyone leaves every webpage in the end. Althoug there will always be exceptions, generally a bounce means the visitor didn't find what they were looking for, whereas if they click a link, close their browser, or type a new address in, then there is a better chance that they did find what they were searching for.

            In any case my main point was that they can't use view duration because they have no way to know what the view duration is unless it was a bounce, in which case the view duration before bouncing back to google isn't particularly relevant. They may be doing what you describe above, and so not stay long despite the fact that it was a good page, or it may be a confusing page and may take them a while before they realize there is no relevant information.

            1. Pcunix profile image88
              Pcunixposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              That's not how Google Analytics defines bounce. They simply say

              "Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page."

              No mention of going back to search.  They could go anywhere (except to a page within my site - that's NOT a bounce)  it's still a bounce.  A bounce is a single page visit that leaves, period.


              But even if they did, my researching example would give a very fast 100% bounce rate and yet often the pages are quite valuable to me.

              1. kephrira profile image59
                kephriraposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                I wasn't talking about google analytics. How could they base their search results on analytics information when it only relates to sites that choose to add analytics?

                1. Pcunix profile image88
                  Pcunixposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  Analytics is not the only source of information they have.  Their Adsense code runs almost everywhere and they could pick up duration from that too.

                  But even if they only used Analytics, the point is that they COULD use this information for other purposes.  Most sites (most sites of any importance) do run Analytics.  Nothing says that Google can't use that information to assign SERP if they think it makes sense to do so.

                  I'm not saying they do - just that they could,

        2. rebekahELLE profile image90
          rebekahELLEposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          I would imagine the longer a viewer is on your page, it appears the page is full of useful information and engaging the viewer. not everyone searching is searching for products, they're searching for information on everything, including products. 
          I guess the logic would be the longer the duration, the more the page satisfied the viewer. that would be a good reason to give a higher rating.

          1. kephrira profile image59
            kephriraposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            But how would they know what the view duration is? They may want to use it, but they would need reliable information in order to do so. I don't see how they would get good enough information to asses view duration.

            1. Pcunix profile image88
              Pcunixposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              View duration is simply the time elapsed between entering a page and leaving it.  I don't understand why you don't think they have the information to calculate it.

              1. kephrira profile image59
                kephriraposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                I may well be wrong, but where would they get the information from? I don't understand how they could get this information for every internet user and every website, and if they are using partial information then surely that would skew the search results?

                I can't see cookies giving complete enough information, analytics isn't on every site, and perhaps not even a majority, and I don't see microsoft sharing info from their browsers with a rival.

                1. Pcunix profile image88
                  Pcunixposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  We (the users of Analytics) put their Javascript code on our pages.  That code tracks bounce rate, view duration, total views and much, much more.

                  That's where it comes from.  I strongly suggest you sign up for Analytics, by the way.

                  1. kephrira profile image59
                    kephriraposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    I do know what google anayltics is, but my point is that not all sites use analytics. You can get just as good information from other services. I don't think google is as ubiquitous as you seem to think, and I don't see how they could use analytics information for search results, when it only relates to the sites that choose to use it and not to all websites.

                    And no thanks, I get plenty of info on my sites in cpanel from awstats. I just don't need to use google analytics.

                  2. pauldeeds profile image
                    59
                    pauldeedsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    It's a little fuzzy, but this sort of implies that analytics data doesn't directly affect serps:

                    Will sharing my data directly affect the ranking of my natural search results, ad quality score or ad placement?

                    Your website data will not be used to affect your natural search results, ad quality score or ad placement. Aggregate data across many customers will be used to improve our products and services.


                    But I think they can arrive at a reasonably accurate  view duration using just data from the back button.  For instance let's say I have a page that is #1 for a particular search, and you have a page that is #2:

                    On my page:
                    1. 50 click back in 10 seconds
                    2. 30 click back in 45 seconds
                    3. 20 never click back

                    On your page:
                    1. 20 click back in 10 seconds
                    2. 30 click back in 45 seconds
                    3. 50 never click back

                    Maybe for purposes of calculating a view duration they just figure that people that never click back spent, say ,180 seconds on the page.  They would arrive at:

                    Average view duration
                    My Page: 54 seconds
                    Your Page: 106 seconds

                    Not perfectly accurate, but probably good enough, and your page is probably better than mine!

                    Now, I'm sure they use a far more sophisticated analysis of click/back patterns than this to predict search result quality (and it's only 1 of many factors), but this should give you an idea of how it might work without any direct measurement.  And, yes I think view duration is a pretty good indicator of quality.

  3. lrohner profile image86
    lrohnerposted 6 years ago

    View duration isn't always meaningful, and I seriously doubt whether Google takes it into consideration.

    Ask yourself this--how many times have you visited a webpage, only to get a phone call just as you start reading? Do you close that page before you take the call?

    How many of you have 5 or 6 webpages open while you're researching a hub or an article, and keep them open the entire time you write even though you may only spend a few seconds on each one?

    Do you always shut your computer off at night and close the browsers? Do you close all of the webpages you have open before you go to walk the dog? I didn't think so. smile

    1. Benjimester profile image90
      Benjimesterposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I think you're definitely right on with all your points.  I also think that Paul hit on something really essential as well.  If a person clicks on a page in the Serps and then hits the back button pretty quick, only to click on something else in the same Serps page, I bet they monitor that, and it if happens enough on a single page, I bet they get devalued.  But like you said Irohner, just measuring duration isn't very feasible.

      Thanks all.  That was really helpful.

  4. Pcunix profile image88
    Pcunixposted 6 years ago

    By the way, usage of Analytics probably exceeds 30% overall and definitely is over 50% among the top 100,000 sites (source: Bullwith Technology Usage Statistics ). An incredible number of us rely on this tool to give us insights into our visitors and their actions while on our sites.

  5. profile image0
    Tilecleaninghubposted 6 years ago

    Bounce rates are extremely important and becoming more important every day.  How does google know if your page is good or not.  the bots dont know.  People know and the amount of time a person stays on your site is telling google that this is a good webpage that people like.  Google is getting all kinds of data now and bounce rates is only a small fraction of the data they get.  Useless unrelated backlinks making any difference in your serps is a thing of the past.

    Why do you think hubpages is not putting the big 336 x 280 box in the top left corner like every internet guru says you should to earn more money.  We could all earn more money initially but the bounce rates would go down and then google would start devaling hubpages and end result would be negative.

    1. lrohner profile image86
      lrohnerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I couldn't disagree with you more. If someone comes to one of my hubs, spends five minutes reading it and then leaves, that's a "bounce." So what exactly is that telling Google?

      If I go to Encyclopedia.com and look up "purple dogs with blue belly button rings," I read the entire entry, get the information I need and then leave, does that ding the site because I didn't bother reading the page on "pink cats with green belly button rings?"

  6. profile image0
    Tilecleaninghubposted 6 years ago

    You dont really understand bounces.  5 minutes reading a site and then going somewhere else is a vote up for your site and not a bounce.  A bounce is not really a good term to use.  Google takes into consideration how long you view a site, where you go after ie. do you just hit back button, go to another site etc..  All too analytical for us common folks but google has a system where a site is voted on by the time people spend on a site and where they go after and probably where they came from.  Sure there will be people doing all different things so google takes an average over time.

    1. lrohner profile image86
      lrohnerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      From the Google Analytics site: "Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page." I read the entire entry several times, and have yet to find anything about duration of the visit. Can you please cite your source?

      Since I also do not believe that (unless you immediately hit the back button) Google puts too much weight on page visit duration, I would also like to see your sources on that subject. I'm still not convinced that Google has cameras in my house recording my every move so that they know I'm still reading your webpage and not out walking the dog.

    2. Pcunix profile image88
      Pcunixposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I can show you Analytics reports that show a bounce after 28 minutes on a page.

      I would say it is you who doesn't understand what Analytics calls a bounce.

  7. profile image0
    Tilecleaninghubposted 6 years ago

    google records the duration of your visit.  This is common knowledge.  Google also records a whole lot of other things that I am sure most of us would be surprised what they track.  Again common knowledge.  How do you think google can rate a site.  No it is not backlinks from irrelevant sources.   Google knows people can get many irrelevant backlinks by paying or just perseverence.  These do not make a site or article good and google knows this.  Google is not going to put on their website how they rate sites.  This is none of our business and is top secret information.  Sure relevant backlinks matter but there has to be more.  Google values relevant engaging content ie what hubpage values.  Case in point
    my article on ezine about how to regrout a shower.  Go to google and type in how to regrout a shower and my article is always up there at the top. 

    http://ezinearticles.com/?How-to-Proper … id=2364056

    There are 100's of articles about regrouting, how to regrout a shower etc...  People like this article so it ranks high and gets many hits a day.  I got a whole lot of other ezines that get nada.  Article has absolutely no backlinks so why does google put this at the top????  The answer is people read this article, spend a lot of time reading it and google must like where they came from and where their going after.

    1. lrohner profile image86
      lrohnerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Well, that answers that. I ask you for sources of information and you cite me an Ezine article that YOU wrote about grouting a shower or something. LOL!

      Nuff said.

  8. profile image0
    Tilecleaninghubposted 6 years ago

    Yep, Do your own research.

 
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