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How does pogosticking actually affect your SEO?

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Pogosticking is a phenomenon with which Google (partially) determines the relevance of websites in the search results. The name comes from the toys that children use to jump back and forth. Chances are that you also pogostick on a daily basis (but not on children’s toys). That is why I decided to write an article about the ranking mechanism.

What is pogosticking?

The moment a visitor is on the search results page, he can click on a website. Pogosticking occurs when this visitor (directly) returns to the search results page and then goes to another website via the same search results page.

This can happen several times during one search query. In that case, the searcher cannot find what he or she is looking for on multiple websites. At some point the searcher visits the last website via the search results page. There the seeker finds what he was looking for.

Difference pogosticking and bounce rate

Pogosticking and the bounce rate are easy to mix up. A bounce is a session of a website user. In this case the user leaves the website after seeing one page. He or she does not click through to other pages of the website.


There are a number of differences between pogosticking and a bounce:

  • A bounce can occur with traffic from different sources. Pogosticking only happens in search engines (paid or organic traffic).
  • A bounce is not always negative, pogosticking is. A bounce with a blog, for example, is common. The visitor then searches for information, finds it on the blog and leaves the website. Pogosticking shows that the seeker cannot find what he or she is looking for.

The impact of pogosticking on SEO

Google’s senior webmaster trends analyst John Mueller says that pogosticking has no direct impact on the findability of websites in the Google search engine. Google does use ‘click data’, such as pogosticking, to test and / or develop the algorithm. Mueller said the following during a Google Webmaster Central office-hours hangout :

But in general we do use this kind of information for evaluating algorithms. That’s the kind of thing we’ve been talking about in the past as well. We do experiments all the time with regard to search results and rankings. Part of the way to do experiments is to see how people react to those experiments.

Pogosticking therefore has no direct influence on Google search results. But it does affect Google’s algorithm. And the algorithm ultimately determines the search results.

SEO content

Pogosticking (and other forms of click data) is one of the reasons that you cannot only write SEO content for search engines. The user-friendliness of these types of texts is often so low that website visitors return directly to the search results page.

Why pogosticking?

You may wonder why Google uses the KPI pogosticking. Software After all,  Google Analytics offers dozens of other KPIs to measure user experiences. This allows Google to discover the exact quality of every search result. Why doesn’t Google use these other KPIs?

user experience measure Google

The reason for this is fairly simple. Not every website uses the Google Analytics tracking code . Google can only deploy KPIs that use all websites in the index. Because because part of the search results are not included in the measurement, measurements from other KPIs are often inaccurate.

How can I respond to pogosticking?

Everyone who is engaged in SEO must respond to pogosticking. It is a knife that cuts on two sides. On the one hand, it helps because improving it improves the user experience (in many cases). In addition, it helps with maintaining and / or improving positions in Google. But how exactly do you do that? You can read that in the following 6 tips:

1. Ensure that the content on the page is relevant and of high quality

If you are active in a specific sector, chances are that you know a lot about the subject. Use your expertise to inform visitors. Always think: what is my visitor looking for?

2. Write content for website visitors and not for search engines

Search engines are getting smarter and recognize spam texts faster and faster.

3. Ensure a good flow on the website

If someone arrives at a website from the search results page, they must be able to easily go through the website. For example, place clear buttons to other relevant pages within the website.

4. Think about a nice and suitable website design

If a website has a good design and an appropriate look, this reduces pogosticking. A well-arranged website ensures that visitors can easily find what they are looking for.

5. Ensure that keywords are connected to the correct landing pages

This is especially true for a paid campaign. It is important that the visitor to the website comes across exactly what he or she expects to encounter. This ensures a good user experience.

6. Target the right keywords during search engine campaigns

In the campaigns, focus on keywords that describe your services. This increases the relevance of your website and ensures that visitors to your website are really looking for your services.

If Google realizes that users find what they are looking for, Google will reward you for this. This reward comes in the form of maintaining and / or improving your positions.

Are you already responding to pogosticking? I am curious about your strategies. Share your experiences with me in a comment below!

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