Google searchers who bounce off of results to head back to the search results are now prompted with an option to block the websites they bounce from. Brafton found on Monday that the prompt only applies when users bounce (not appearing when users return to the SERP after a minute or two), and it applies to all links included on a results page.
Bounce rate is a critical metric for SEO as well as for planning of and improving content marketing initiatives. (Bounce rates describe the frequency with which website visitors arrive and quickly leave the website to look at other search results.) While the exact interval used by Google to define a bounce is unclear, it is generally believed to apply to visits of 10 to 15 seconds or fewer.
For marketers, this search feature places an even stronger emphasis on site integrity. Users need to be engaged immediately and have their needs met with content. Otherwise, they will return to the SERP. This has traditionally meant poor interaction metrics that could negatively impact SEO and lost conversion opportunities, however, the addition from Google means that bounces could more readily lead to websites blocks, making brands entirely invisible them. Content marketing makes a valuable first impression that businesses need to invest in if they want to continuously attract and engage site visitors.
In general, SEO has shifted to be less about keywords and more about a general concept of developing a quality website. Brafton reported recently that Google distinguished engineer Matt Cutts named trust as critical component of strong SERP standing.