Dwell Time which is also known as Time on Site is basically the amount of time a user spends on a page after having clicked on a particular search result and before leaving the site and going back to SERP. Many SEO specialists consider Dwell Time an important component of ranking on Google.
To understand how it works-
Suppose you have done a Google search for “the best ways of email marketing” and you find the first result relevant judging by its heading. You click on it but upon opening that page, you realise the site is messy or irrelevant or has a misleading title and hence, you immediately go back to SERP to look for other results.
Now, Google observes this behavior of yours. If it senses similar reactions from too many users, it might demote the positioning of that result on the SERP and replace it with some other result.
Continuing the same example, when you come back to the SERP, let’s say you check out the result on the fourth number and click on it. Here, you find the content useful and spend a good amount of time on that article. Google observes this too and if many users respond to that result the same way, it might give that page a ranking boost.
In a nutshell, Dwell Time bears great importance on SEO and overall internet marketing.
But before that, have it clear that…
Dwell Time is Different from Bounce Rate
Although both the terms are similar, there is an important distinction between these two. Bounce rate of a page is determined by how many users, after clicking on a particular result, go back or “bounce” leaving the web page without having clicked even on a single link on the page. While Dwell Time indicates for how long a user engages with a website through that page by clicking different links on it and so. Dwell Time indicates a more meaningful interaction of users with a website than does Bounce Rate. It is also noted that Bounce Rate is not really a factor affecting Google ranking as much as Dwell time is because it can’t really tell whether the visitor was satisfied or not. It basically just has a correlation with Google ranking.
If you are an SEO researcher, here is what you need to know about…
The importance of Dwell Time for SEO-
# Dwell Time is an important standard that indicates the quality of your website.
It apparently makes sense for a search engine to take the length of time a user spends on a particular web page engaging with the website as an indicator of that web page’s or site’s quality. Google as a search engine wants to provide its users with the most relevant and useful results. A higher Dwell Time on your website indicates that people find your content relevant and satisfactory while a low Dwell Time on your website may indicate that the visitors had an unsatisfactory experience which may be due to a number of reasons like poor content quality, difficult or messy User Interface, inefficient website management, obsolete content, and so on. If your webpage/website has a low Dwell Time, it is of utmost importance to identify the problem areas and fix it in order to save your website’s google ranking.
# Google does take Dwell Time quite seriously.
Okay, Google hasn’t made any explicit statement as such that it takes “Dwell Time” seriously if that’s what you’re wondering. But Google Engineers have said that they have integrated machine learning into the process of monitoring how long a user spends on a particular website or web page is one of the factors they take into consideration (like RankBrain). Hence, it is important for those trying to optimize search engines for their website to understand Dwell Time and find ways of increasing it.
# Higher Dwell Time is important to increase traffic on a website.
So with the points above, this must be easy to understand. Higher the quality of a webpage, longer the visitors will spend engaging with that website thus positively impacting its Google ranking. And obviously, higher the ranking your webpage/website has, more will be its visibility which will eventually increase visitors’ traffic on your website.
To Sum Up
Dwell Time is an essential concept of SEO and digital marketing. A higher Dwell Time of visitors on your website can increase its chances at getting a higher Google ranking and more traffic. However, Dwell Time can not be taken as an absolute measure determining Google ranking, it is rather complementary and is better applicable in a broad sense.
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