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Bounce rate - official definition from Google

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

This question comes up frequently - and I'm afraid that the information on the subject of bounce rate can be conflicting.

 

I have read Google's official definition: "Bounce Rate is the percentage of single-page sessions (i.e. sessions in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page)."

 

However, this blog from Avinash Kaushik is often cited, where he believes that Google uses a time stamp (i.e. that viewers spending a small amount of time [five seconds or less] on a page is also counted as a bounce.")

 

Please solve this for us. 

 

 

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Accepted by topic author Diane K
August 2016

Re: Bounce rate - official definition from Google

Rising Star
# 2
Rising Star
Diane,

I don't see a link. A bounce is a session with only one hit or a session with a hit and any number on non-interaction events.

Avinash's classic, colloquial definition is : "I came, I puked, I left."

Basically it's a session where the user took no action and that's usually not a good thing.

I recall that Google shared some research (not sure if they did this publicly) that they knew in many cases that this would occur quickly and in a shorter amount of time then the 30 minute session timeout. Timestamps are always used to calculate time on site, time on page etc and session timeouts. If I open your site, then go to lunch for 30 minutes, the session will expire and would be a bounce -- even if I come back and then buy something - that would be one user and two sessions.

Hope that helps...

Best,

Theo Bennett

Analytics Evangelist at MoreVisibility | Contact Me
Connect on LinkedIn

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Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Diane K
August 2016

Re: Bounce rate - official definition from Google

Rising Star
# 2
Rising Star
Diane,

I don't see a link. A bounce is a session with only one hit or a session with a hit and any number on non-interaction events.

Avinash's classic, colloquial definition is : "I came, I puked, I left."

Basically it's a session where the user took no action and that's usually not a good thing.

I recall that Google shared some research (not sure if they did this publicly) that they knew in many cases that this would occur quickly and in a shorter amount of time then the 30 minute session timeout. Timestamps are always used to calculate time on site, time on page etc and session timeouts. If I open your site, then go to lunch for 30 minutes, the session will expire and would be a bounce -- even if I come back and then buy something - that would be one user and two sessions.

Hope that helps...

Best,

Theo Bennett

Analytics Evangelist at MoreVisibility | Contact Me
Connect on LinkedIn

Re: Bounce rate - official definition from Google

[ Edited ]
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Diane,

 

@Theo Bennett gave you a good answer.

 

Just a quick clarification:

A bounce is a session with a single engagement hit as Theo mentioned. To briefly summarize it, there are currently 4 types of hits that can be sent to the Google Analytics server:

  • page tracking hits
  • event tracking hits
  • e-commerce tracking hits
  • social interaction hits

"Bounce Rate is the percentage of single-page sessions" - frankly, it's the traditional bounce rate collection method but not 100% accurate definition, if you send some of the additional hits that I mentioned above (which you've not set to non-interactionto the GA during this single-page session.

 

You can also adjust your bounce rate as well and make it more relative to the goals you set for a page or for your site. It basically refers to tweaking the traditional bounce rate collection method (single engagement hits / total sessions) so that sessions which only included a single page view would not count towards a bounce, as long as they met some qualitative requirements (if you use events in order to measure scrolling for example on a single page).

 

Here you can find a good explanation as well: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1033068?hl=en#Implementation

 

Hope this helps to make it more clear. Smiley Happy

Taavi

Re: Bounce rate - official definition from Google

Rising Star
# 4
Rising Star
Taavi

I've received a notification on your reply 7 times. ( Insert Video quote of Chris Farley in Tommy Boy ) What did you do? Smiley Happy

Best,

Theo Bennett
Analytics Evangelist at MoreVisibility | Contact Me
Connect on LinkedIn

Re: Bounce rate - official definition from Google

Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
Sorry Theo. Just edited my post. I guess it sent you a notification every time I did it. Smiley Happy
I will try to avoid it next time.

All the best,
Taavi

Re: Bounce rate - official definition from Google

Rising Star
# 6
Rising Star
No worries. Smiley Happy I used to get a note that says it was an edit but none of them showed that. I know they are working on the platform and will be making some corrections in the next couple weeks so maybe that will change too.

Smiley Happy

Theo
Analytics Evangelist at MoreVisibility | Contact Me
Connect on LinkedIn

Re: Bounce rate - official definition from Google

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Taavi,

I also have a question regarding bounce, which I think you answered but let me re-phrase so you can confirm.

If someone comes to a page of a site and clicks on a link that sends them outside that site, that is considered a bounce unless I have set the click to be an Event?

I help manage several large websites and one of our lawyers keeps saying their high-bounce rate is a measure of success given how many external links they have (and that they want people to click on those!). Crazy logic.... which I want to defeat!

Thanks!