Panda Metrics: It Isn't TIme on Site or Bounce Rate
Wow - AfterPanda comes alive again! With the Panda iterations continuing to come, recoveries few (although I have seen some) and dramatic new changes coming to Google (Freshness update) - it is time for me to start blogging again.
Before getting on to new stuff, I wanted to pick up on where I left off. I have played around on a few sites with a package called Clicky. I like Clicky because they have redefined bounce rate as a visit of <30 seconds, better than the single page metric usually seen in packages like Google Analytics. This is definitely a better bounce rate.
Most likely, if you are decreasing your bounce rate, you are improving the user experience and satisfying your users more often. Most likely, but not necessarily. And even if you are getting a bit better, it does not tell you if you are good. Remember, Google is not looking at your bounce rate or time on site. They are looking at the G-Bounce (the return to the search result and subsequent actions when the user returns).
None of the numbers in your analytics is as important of understanding why your user got to your site, what question they asked and what you need to do to answer that question. I am not saying you shouldn't try and improve those numbers ... you should. But it is not enough. You need to know what Google knows. More on how you do that in my upcoming posts ...