Among the thousands of factors and variables taken into account by Google for organic positioning, there is one with a very curious name: the Pogo Sticking.
Linked to the bounce rate, this indicator represents a specific behavior of the users during their interaction with the search results pages and the own websites present in them. Very in line with the tendency of Google in recent years to prioritize ranking factors that represent the interests of users.
Let’s analyze what Pogo Sticking is, what is its relationship with SEO and how we can avoid its negative effects on positioning.
“This behavior can negatively affect our positioning.”
What is Pogo Sticking?
Pogo Sticking is the behavior that a user has in performing a search in Google or another search engine, accessing a website provided by one of the results, and, for whatever reason, return to the results page and access another of the websites present.
This pattern of behavior can be repeated several times for the same search, in which the user will “bounce” from one result to another of the SERP until he finds a content that provides a satisfactory response to his need or until the process be abandoned.
The name associated with this behavior derives from the similarity with the “pogo stick,” the device that allows jumps or bounces in the real world.
Is Pogo Sticking the same as bouncing?
No. Sometimes, a bounce will equal the Pogo Sticking, but there are some differences.
On the one hand, the bounce or bounce rate includes those users who, in accessing a web page, leave it without doing anything beyond consulting the content. The concept is not exclusive to SEO but is applied in a general way to web analytics and other online marketing channels. In addition, a high rebound percentage will not always have a negative connotation.
On the other hand, Pogo Sticking is more linked to SEO, although it can be related to other areas. For example, we can measure the internal Pogo Sticking in e-commerce, assessing its effect on its listings (categories, internal search engine results, etc.). Unlike bounce, this concept involves the interaction between two or more elements and, as usual, will have a negative effect on our positioning.
What usually causes the Pogo Sticking effect in SEO?
There are several reasons for the user to consult several results in the search results pages, causing the Pogo Sticking effect:
- Inconsistency between the search snippet(title and description) and the content of the web, so that users click on our result attracted by the promise included in it, but the content does not correspond.
- High load time, making the user can not consult our website and have to go back to the SERP to enter another result.
- Weak design and usability, for example, if we show a page not adapted to mobile devices to a user who accesses with his Smartphone.
- Unattractive and irrelevant content.
It is also worth mentioning that there will be certain stages of a user’s Customer Journey, and for different types of searches or sectors, Pogo Sticking will be a habitual behavior.
Let’s take the example of the director of an SME looking for a web design company in Atlanta to renew their website. After performing the search “web design Atlanta” in Google, you will possibly compare the different companies present among the results, and you will contact more than one of them. During this process, you will access the different websites and go back to the SERP on several occasions. It is not that the first result has not resolved your search, but that consulting several suppliers is part of your behavior.
How to avoid Pogo Sticking?
Since its measurement is difficult, since we can control the percentage of the bounce of our web but not the behavior of the user outside of it, the recommendations to avoid the Pogo Sticking go in the line of offering the user the content you are looking for and something more :
- Offer content that reflects what we have indicated in our title and description of the snippet.
- Optimize the loading speed of our website, especially in mobile versions.
- Have an attractive web design, and work on the usability and content architecture of our website.
- Provide the user with the content that responds to your search and other queries that may have later or complementary.
Within the evolution and progress of our SEO strategy, the Pogo Sticking will be very variable to take into account if we want to improve our positioning. If you have doubts about this or other SEO concepts, do not hesitate to contact us.