Two day ago I posted how I believed the launch of Google Instant Pages would effect rankings.
The general jist of post was that it would improve conversion and bounce rate as a reader would be more likely to convert deeper within the site if the page loads quicker. It makes sense, a slow loading page would in most cases have a higher bounce rate.
However it seems that I may have got it totally wrong. Polar oppositely wrong in fact.
Wednesday morning there was a slightly buzzier buzz around the Branded3 office. Julian Kay (resident software developer at Branded3) made a very valid point that Google prerendering the most relevant result would class as a visit in webmaster tools. The server would be accessed and therefore return the page just like a visit.
So each time a site appears No.1 of Google, if Google Instant Pages does what it is supposed to do it will prerender the site which classes as a visit. Then we know 65-70% of those searchers won’t click on your site. Hence massively effecting bounce rate.
Dotsauce.com wrongly state that this would reduce bounce rate.
As bounce rates effect rankings, will this then be a disadvantage to rank no.1? Surley not, this would be counter productive for Google.
But it seems so, this could be detrimental to top ranks – Google spokesman told WebProNews:
“Although google.com only issues the prerender hint when it is confident that it knows where the user will click, in some cases it will mispredict, resulting in a page that has appeared to load but was never actually shown to the user. Although this will happen relatively rarely, in some cases it is important for the webpage to know.”
What Google can’t control is that close the 70% won’t click on the first result so I am perplexed at how Google is going to safeguard bounce rates.
I think this calls for some testing.
Want to try Google Instant Pages for yourself? Try this Prerendering test page