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Pogo Sticking – Hurting your SEO & Rankings

pogo-sticking-seo
Written by Iftekhar Ahmed

Ranking your posts for your preferred keywords is not an easy task. And once ranked no one would like to see their rankings slip from top.

But wait!! This is what happens most of the times, even I have got many questions from bloggers asking about the same. Some of the questions that I get the most and that you also at some point of time will have are:

 

  • I was ranking on #1 Spot and now I am down to #10 spot, what to do??
  • I am now ranked on my preferred keyword after many months of work and now I want that my rankings don’t slip down. What would you suggest ? 
  • I always rank for few days and then eventually I land up on page 2 or 3 after a week or so ? Why is it happening
So there can be 100s of questions that can framed regarding this, and the only solution is to Understand Pogo-Sticking. 
 
Well first let me ask you a question!!! Do you know anything about this term ? Have you heard this before ? Do you know that this leads to slipping of ranking ?? Do you know it hurts your SEO ?? 
 
A lot happens under this and I’m pretty much sure that many of you don’t know this term specifically and again even if you heard it before you never might have taken a step forward to look for it. So for the same here I will be sharing everything that I can regarding Pogo-sticking and some small simple tips to solve pogo sticking problem.

 

Ready right ? This might go long !! But don’t worry, just read the coloured text and you will understand the most of it.

 

What is Pogo-Sticking ?

In simple words that you will find everywhere:


Pogo sticking occurs when a user performs a search, clicks on a result, very quickly clicks back to the search result page, and clicks on a different result.” 


Pogo-Sticking is what happens when a user performs a search query, finds a site and clicks on it, then realises it’s not what they want so they click back to the search results. 

 

Pogo Sticking - Hurting your SEO & Rankings
Pic from Moz.com
So it’s a type of user dissatisfaction. Let me make it simpler by an example. 
Suppose I’m looking for “Best Smart phones Under 500$” and I open up the top ranked site, after some time I realise that “Man this ain’t what I am looking for” and then I click back to the search results. So this is POGO STICKING. 
 
Let me mention here itself that BOUNCE RATE and POGO STICKING are 2 Completely different things and are not inter-related. 
 
You can refer my guide on Bounce Rate here: Bounce Rate and Tweaks to Improve it

 

The next set of questions that may come up in your mind would be:
What are the main causes of Pogo sticking ? 
How to solve this issue ? 
How is it related to SEO ? 
So let’s straight away get these questions answered 🙂 
 

Causes of POGO Sticking

There can be numerous reasons why your site or a page might have high pogo sticking behaviour. Since its directly related to user satisfaction, the causes are quite natural and predictable. Here are most common problems why Pogo Sticking occurs.

 

  • Your Content & Title do not match. For example, your title is like “Watch Arrow Season 3 Episode 10 Online” and in your content you don’t add any video to watch the episode. This directly results in both high Bounce and Pogo Sticking.
  • Spammy Content. Small content or generic type of articles are again a reason behind this behaviour.
  • Irrelevant content. 
  • Grammar & Spelling mistakes makes the user feel dis-satisfied with your site and results into a click back to search.
  • Slow Loading Time of Page/Site
  • Auto Play Videos or flash material irritates many a times and results in closing of your page.
  • Poor UX/UI (User Experience and Design)
  • Poor Placement of Ads and high number of Pop-ups.
So these were some common reasons why your site is having a high pogo sticking rate.

 

Results of Pogo Sticking

Recently Neil Patel also mentioned in his blog that #1 SEO Ranking Factor is User Satisfaction, and when talking about the satisfaction of user Pogo Sticking comes at first.

 

Google doesn’t like pogo sticking. The reason why is fairly obvious: when users repeatedly visit your content page but don’t stick around to read what you’ve written, it becomes apparent that page doesn’t really satisfy the needs of those users. As a result, you’ll start to lose your organic rankings and traffic. 

 

So if your site has a high rate of pogo sticking it clearly indicates that your site is failing to provide what the user needs. Due to this, Google will start noticing it and when this level goes high it will straight away penalize you and you will lose all your rankings.
I got many questions asking “I rank for first few days and then I lose all my ranking, why is it happening?”

 

So I guess the answer is pretty much clear why you lose your rankings. Its just mainly because of high Pogo Stick behaviour of your page.

 

For those who prefer going through the main points only, Pogo Sticking results in: 
  • Penalty Sometimes
  • Losing of Rankings
  • Decrease in Search Traffic
  • High Bounce Rate
  • Loss in Readership and Authority

Quick Tips to Avoid Pogo Sticking

The best way is to work and write according to the searcher, Get into his head, think of the questions he might search, answer them in your content. Think about the content length he might prefer and then write point to point accordingly. Here I am listing some quick tips that will easily help you come out of this problem.


  • Provide Point to Point Content
  • Improve Page Load Time
  • Make everything Responsive
  • Don’t play with Post Titles and descriptions just to get clicks from Search
  • Ask Questions with your User.
  • Have a Good Design and Post structure.
  • Satisfy every query that lands onto your Page
  • Avoid Pop-ups, distractions and Poor Ad placements.
Well there are many more factors that can be looked upon, do have a look at this: User Engagement – A Massive Ranking Factor 90% SEOs Ignore.
 

Round Up

Well this was a simple guide on Pogo Sticking. It is more than enough for you to understand, analyze, implement the steps. Just make sure you follow all tips mentioned above. I hope I answered to many questions above 🙂 and if you still have some questions feel free to put it in comments section.

 

By the way for those who prefer small posts, I have made all important points in colored font, just read them and you will understand the complete article. 😉 

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About the author

Iftekhar Ahmed

Iftekhar Ahmed is the owner of iftiSEO.com and writes on various topics like Online Earning, SEO, Blogging etc. He has worked on many blogs and also works as an SEO Analyst. Apart from blogging he is also pursuing a degree in Computer Science Engineering

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