Have you ever heard of Pogo Sticking? What is Pogo Sticking in SEO? In this article, we will be discussing Pogo Sticking in detail. SEO plays an important role in your blog rankings. There are many factors involved in SEO. If you want to rank higher in SERP, you need to work a lot on your SEO strategies. Pogo sticking is one of the concepts believed to be affecting your website rankings.
Let’s proceed to the article now.
What Is Pogo Sticking in SEO?
Pogo sticking in SEO is the practice of going back and forth from a result in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) to different results. The pogo stick is when any user lands on your website from the search engine but instantly goes back to the search engine’s results and visits another link. It shows that what the user was looking for was not found on your website. Confused? Let’s say, you Google “Cloaking in SEO”“. Google shows search results. You click on the first link but you did not find the content you were looking for (i.e. first link did not satisfy your search query). So, you go back to search results again and click on the 2nd link to read about it. This phenomenon is called Pogo Sticking in SEO.
** Don’t confuse Pogo Sticking with Bounce Rate. We will cover that in upcoming sections.
Common Reasons for Pogo Sticking?
There can be many reasons why users pogo stick. Below are a few common reasons –
- Content Related Reasons
- Content is spam-like.
- The content doesn’t match the title or meta description.
- The discrepancy between the blog niche and given page content.
- Grammatical & spelling errors
- Non-Content Related Reasons
- UI not user-friendly.
- Slow-loading website (I use WP Rocket Plugin to increase the speed of my website.)
- Too many pop-ups & Ads.
- Auto-play videos
- Usability issues
Also Read: How to speed up your website?
Why Should You Concern About Pogo Sticking?
Pogo sticking is a strong sign that users aren’t happy with the results. Pogo sticking happens when your website could not satisfy the user’s search query. If there are only a few instances of pogo-sticking, then it is ok. But if a lot of users pogo stick, it sends a signal to search engines that your website page is not up to the mark or giving users what they want. It shows that the user had a bad experience otherwise he would not have clicked on the ‘Back’ button. In this case, it makes sense to drop down your ranking for that particular keyword/page and give chance to other websites that are serving users what they were looking for.
Bounce Rate vs Pogo Sticking in SEO
Many people think that bounce rate and pogo-sticking are the same things, but they aren’t.
- Pogo sticking: Pogo sticking occurs when a user performs a search, clicks on a result, very quickly clicks back to the search result page, and clicks on a different result.
- Bounce rate: The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who visit a single page on a website. Below is the bounce rate calculation formula:
Bounce rate = Total Number of Visits viewing one page only / Total number of visits
Also Read: How to Decrease Bounce Rate?
Pogo Sticking – Really a Google Ranking Factor?
There are many experts who suggest that Pogo sticking is a ranking factor and there are some experts who oppose that idea. They argue that ranking search results based on pogo-sticking are not refined as it is hard to pinpoint the real reason for pogo-sticking. There are many reasons why pogo-sticking happens and it may not have anything do with the content! Others suggest that metrics like Bounce rate, CTR, and dwell time can be used to understand it in a better way. If these metrics are also bad and have a high pogo-sticking rate, then it is not wrong to say that the result doesn’t match the user intent and the user is dissatisfied with the result!
Google’s views About Pogo Sticking in SEO
Google’s John Mueller in a recent interview revealed that Pogo-sticking is not a signal when it comes to ranking search results. There are a number of reasons why users might go back and forth between pages in search results, which would make it difficult for Google to turn that behavior into a ranking factor.
Pogo Sticking in SEO: The Conclusion
Pogo sticking may not be a ranking factor that Google uses. But, it can act as an indirect metric that affects your ranking. Since, pogo-sticking can be linked with metrics like CTR, bounce rates, and dwell time, you may need to be a little concerned about pogo-sticking. Even if it does not matter in rankings, you should prevent users from bouncing back to search engines and keep them engaged on your blog itself.
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