Even if you don’t put a lot of effort into updating your Google+ Brand page, it’s a good idea to link your Google+ page to your website. It won’t magically improve your Google ranks. But it helps strengthen Google’s understanding of your brand, which may improve your branded search results. It also helps you connect with your friends, fans, and customers by offering a prominent path to your website from your G+ page.
Upon bouncing back to Google from a search result, you may see a notice allowing you to block that domain from future Google results. Or you may see a notice encouraging you to +1 that domain. It all depends on the amount of time you spent on the page.
Google is well aware of what listings searchers click after performing a Google search. But did you know Google continues to care what a user does after clicking on a listing? The search engine monitors whether the user clicks right back to Google, and even pays attention to the length of time the user spent on a site.
Here’s an example. After searching for “eco-friendly down comforters” I clicked a page on the domain www.beddingdowncomforters.com, reviewed it briefly, and clicked the Back button to return to Google. This is known as a G-bounce. When I landed back on the Google search results page, Google had added the message ” – Block all www.beddingdowncomforters.com results” to the listing:
Click on the “Block…” link, and you’ll never be bothered by this website’s listings again.
Later, I was searching for “how to decant wine” and clicked on wineintro.com. I spent a long time on the page and eventually clicked the Back button to return to Google. Upon landing back on my Google results page, I saw a popup suggesting that I +1 the site on Google:
This experience got me wondering: How long do I need to spend on a website before Google stops suggesting I block it, but instead suggests that I +1 it? What is that magic length of G-bounce time that Google deems to represent a successful website experience?
I tested it out by G-bouncing after various lengths of time, and here’s what I found:
- 15 seconds — block
- 30 seconds — block
- 45 seconds — block
- 1 minute — block
- 1 minute 15 seconds — block
- 1 minute 30 seconds — block
- 2 minutes — no message
- 3 minutes — no message
- 4 minutes — no message
- 7 minutes — no message
- 7 minutes + 30 seconds – no message
- 7 minutes + 40 seconds – +1 message
- 8 minutes – +1 message
So apparently, according to Google, the 1-1/2 minute mark is where a site goes from hateworthy to just OK, and at the 7-1/2 minute G-bounce mark, the site has clearly served you well and deserves a +1 for its trouble.
I anyone else seeing these same times? Different ones?
UPDATE: Bing and Google reps discuss the “dwell time” signal about 5 minutes into this discussion at SXSW: http://searchengineland.com/too-much-seo-google%E2%80%99s-working-on-an-%E2%80%9Cover-optimization%E2%80%9D-penalty-for-that-115627