What Is Pogo-sticking in SEO? How Does It Differ from Bounce Rate?

by | Published on Jun 14, 2024 | SEO

In SEO, “pogo sticking” is a term used to refer to the behavior of users who quickly hop back and forth between search engine results pages (SERPs) and the search results. From one search, they will click the next result or head to a different website.

Pogo Sticking Example

For example, if you’re searching for “What is medical case chronology”, you’ll be shown multiple results. Ideally, you’ll choose the top result. If you realize that the search result is not what you are looking for, you’ll immediately go back to the main search page and click on another result. Here, if you feel that the information provided by MOS website is not sufficient or worthy, you’ll go for the next result.

If a visitor closes your web page within the first five seconds of viewing the page, Google will notice that your website’s content is not worthy for the user, and this will affect your page rankings. Being an experienced digital marketing services company, MedResponsive is up to date with the SEO challenges and provides custom solutions to meet your marketing goals.

Transform your business with our proven digital marketing services.

Call (800) 941-5527!

Does It Affect Your Ranking?

Even though marketers consider it as a negative ranking signal, Google’s John Mueller had earlier made it clear that a user behavior known as pogo-sticking is not a signal when it comes to ranking search results.

Pogo Sticking Sample

Image Source

However, pogo sticking can still drive traffic away from your website. It highlights the immediate dissatisfaction of the user. High bounce rates or low time spent on the page indicates that your web content might not adequately address the search query that led someone to your page.

Common Reasons for Pogo-Sticking

  • Relevance: Mismatch between the user’s search intent and the page content is the major reason. If the webpage content doesn’t match what the user expects based on the search query, they’re likely to bounce back to the search results page.
  • Page load speed: Slow-loading pages frustrate users and prompt them to return to the search results to find a faster alternative.
  • Poor user experience (UX): Websites with confusing navigation, intrusive ads, or difficult-to-read content can drive users away quickly.
  • Low-quality content: Content that’s poorly written, lacks depth, or doesn’t fulfill the user’s intent can lead to dissatisfaction and pogo sticking.
  • Misleading Meta description or title: If the Meta description or title of a search result promises something different from what the page delivers, users may quickly bounce back to the search results.
  • Confusing navigation: Poor navigation forces users to go back and forth between search results in search of relevant information, resulting in pogo sticking. They struggle to find their desired content, leading to frustration and disengagement. Simplifying navigation enhances user experience, reducing pogo sticking and increasing retention rates.

Essentially, anything that fails to engage or meet the expectations of the user can lead to pogo-sticking.

Pogo Sticking and Bounce Rate – What Is the Difference?

Often, the terms pogo sticking and bounce rate are misunderstood as the same.

Bouncing refers to the situation where a user visits a particular web page and returns without visiting any other pages on the same website. Bounce rate is the percentage of the number of people leaving the web page in a short time, and pogo sticking is the effectiveness of the website in capturing and retaining visitors.

Pogo Sticking vs Bounce Rate

Pogo Sticking Bounce Rate
User clicks on a search result, returns to SERP, and clicks another result Percentage of visitors who leave after one page view
Specific to search engine result pages (SERPs) Applies to all traffic sources and website pages
Highlights dissatisfaction with search result relevancy Indicates lack of engagement or relevance of web page
Measures frequency of returning to SERP between clicks Measures percentage of single-page sessions

Pogo sticking specifically refers to user behavior within search engine result pages, while bounce rate measures overall website engagement by indicating the percentage of single-page sessions. Both metrics are valuable for understanding user behavior and optimizing website performance, but they provide insights into different aspects of user engagement.

Strategies  to Avoid Pogo Sticking

How to Avoid Pogo Sticking

To lessen the effects of back-and-forth browsing and retain traffic on your website, it’s essential to follow these strategies:

  • Make your content reader-friendly: Optimize your content for readability and focus on search intent. By crafting content that is easy to read and understand, you create a more enjoyable browsing experience for users, reducing the chances of users bouncing back due to confusion or frustration.
  • Add suitable titles: Titles serve as the first point of contact for users, providing them with a clear indication of what to expect from the content. Descriptive and compelling titles that accurately reflect the content’s topic and value proposition, meet user expectations.
  • Provide high-quality content: Focus on providing valuable, relevant, and engaging content that aligns with user intent. Ensure that the content on your website aligns with user expectations and search intent, reducing the likelihood of them bouncing back to search results in search of more relevant information.
  • Improve user experience: Put your effort to enhance user experience. Investing in UX improvements, such as clear navigation and responsive design, can help you avoid pogo sticking by enhancing user satisfaction and encouraging prolonged engagement.
  • Organize content in tables: Tables can present information in a structured and easily digestible format. Tables provide a clear structure, allowing users to quickly scan and locate the specific data or details they are looking for without having to sift through lengthy paragraphs of text. Tables also allow users to compare and contrast different elements efficiently, facilitating faster decision-making.
  • Add FAQ: Adding FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) within the content can be a powerful strategy to enhance user engagement.

Adding Faqs

Image Source

Answering a specific list of commonly asked questions related to the concerned topic provides users with quick access to relevant information, addressing potential queries and concerns they may have without requiring them to navigate away from the page.

  • Improve page loading time: Optimizing page load speed improves user satisfaction while also enhancing overall site performance and retention rates. Optimizing elements such as image size, minimizing HTTP requests, using browser caching, and employing content delivery networks (CDNs) can improve page loading times and ensure that users can access your content quickly and efficiently.

Professional digital marketing service companies implement such effective strategies to foster better user engagement, reduce pogo sticking, and ultimately improve website performance and search rankings.

Turn clicks into conversions with our strategic digital marketing services.

Call (800) 941-5527

Related Blogs

Tips to Increase Website Traffic after the Google Update

Tips to Increase Website Traffic after the Google Update

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, staying ahead of Google’s frequent algorithm updates is crucial for maintaining and boosting website traffic. Whether you are a small business owner, a blogger, or an e-commerce giant, the recent changes in Google's...

How to Build an SEO Roadmap

How to Build an SEO Roadmap

What’s an SEO Roadmap? An SEO roadmap is a collective document used by a search engine optimization company that outlines broad strategic SEO tasks, key opportunities and a step-by-step plan of action. This will help to more quickly achieve the goal of improving a...

Share This