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Dwell Time and SEO: A Detailed Guide

Dwell Time and SEO

What is Dwell time?

Time spent is the amount of time Google search engines spend from search results before returning to the back. Many SEO professionals consider Dwell time to be an important sign of Google ranking.

This is a brief moment when you evaluate the page you just clicked to visit. Either it immediately gives you the answer you want, or it’s an obvious error where you immediately click the back button.
The value of this indicator for search engines should be obvious the longer it passes, the higher the probability that the page will meet your needs.
This is a generalization because we can dig up any number of edge scenario vulnerabilities in this theory, but in the broadest sense, it applies. And the opposite is still more or less the case, the less time you spend on that page, the less satisfied you will be.
But if you ask about the weather, the quick navigation of the page can be completely satisfactory. In such cases, the indicator built around the time of stay should take into account this: short time = satisfaction.

For example,

If you search for something. The first result seems like a good fit. So you click on it. But when you get there, the site is ugly and difficult to use and the content did not help. So, after 5 seconds, you can click again on the result. Your stay is 5 seconds.


Super short access tells google that you are not satisfied with this result. Assume that then click #2 results. This time, the content is amazing. The site is easy to navigate. It took you 4 minutes and 30 seconds to read every word. Then click return to results to continue the investigation.

So long stay tells google that you get a lot of value from this result. If many others also spend a lot of time on that page, Google will give you a rating boost. So you can see that it is not as easy as the concept is widely used.

But it is a used indicator and will keep the values applied to a range of a certain level. The importance as a metric is relative, and multiple factors have to be taken into account, so pursuing your stay is not a good use of your time.

However, this is worrying. Wider site improvements focus on increasing user engagement. The time spent may increase as a result, but it shouldn’t be your only approach or reason to do something.

Dwell time is not bounce rate

A bounce happens when someone sees only one page and leaves your site, so your bounce rate is the percentage of single-page sessions divided by all sessions on your website (or a single page). 

The user who bounce? Not all of the SERP, even if some bouncers enter your site via SERP, that doesn’t mean they click that server again. They may have closed the page or navigated directly to another website.

Dwell Time is Not Average Time

The dwell time is also interchangeable with the average time on the page. But that’s the average time on the page – on average, the time someone spends on your page. The user may have accessed the page from social networks, links on other pages, emails or other sources.

Dwell Time Is Not Session Duration

What is the duration of the session? There’s no time to stay either. The session duration metric measures how long a person stays on your website. If the user’s session does not start with a search, it certainly cannot end up on the same search results page.

Dwell Time Is Not CTR

Your organic search click rate is the percentage of people who clicked on a link to your page as a total of users who viewed that SERP. This is with or lumped in with dwell time. But I shouldn’t. The length of stay is focused only on what happens after a click, not on the percentage of search engines that click.

Dwell Time Is Not Rankbrain

This is a huge and probably the most surprising misunderstanding, you can read all about rank brain here. Also, Gary Illyes from Google recently explained how the rank brain works again. 

In simpler terms, Illyes says rankbrain uses historical search data to predict previously invisible queries. Rankbrain collects data from user interactions with search results, not how they interact with a content fragment. Doesn’t it sound like the opposite of dwell time?

When Does Dwell Time Become A Visit?

Technically, every click is a visit. But let’s be frank. Not all visits are the same. You will know which version of the indicator is most important for your own business, but it’s safe to say that for most companies, a seconds(or less) access is not ideal. At least, we can say with certainty that every company wants people to engage with them longer.

Now, your scan package may differ in the way you track these instances, but it’s worth parsing the number of hits ordered by the time visitors interact with you.

If you have optimized the conversion path, you will understand the average time it takes to operate, and then you will be able to easily map how valuable access often looks. There are many ways to do such exercises, but regardless of the method, it is worth doing.

How Does It Affect Dwell Time?

There is not one thing you can do to positively affect dwell time. However, there are cases when doing a thing has an impact. What I’m talking about here is focusing on improving the overall user experience and delivering useful content on the page.

Videos scroll automatically when people visit your website, users don’t like this. Do not bury the answer to the question on the page below a large title image. Be sure to make the content easy to find and obvious, so this is the first thing visitors see when they reach your page.

Have you ever wondered why Google and bing gave guidance on “folding” without pop-ups etc. Part of the reason is to improve the user experience. Search engines know that if a search engine lands on a page listed in search results, they almost immediately return to search results, increasing the likelihood that the search engine will blame.

If the pattern is repeated several times, it only increases the frustration of the finder with the engine, so this is the pattern that the engine wants to avoid as much as possible.

Don’t Dwell On Dwell Time

Essentially, dwell time is a step to consider, but you’ve taken all the right steps to have the most positive impact on it. If you are trying to make your mobile site friendly, you need to fix this. Is page loading still slow? Resolves this issue.

If you are concerned that customers will bounce off your site when they get the information they think they need, you need to resolve this issue. Try optimizing the conversion.

Picture of 360 SEO Team
360 SEO Team

We are a team of thinkers, copywriters. The whole team contributed in this blog. Do share and comment if above blog is helpful.

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