Is “Dwell Time” Exactly What You Are Supposing It To Be?

Dwell time first came into existence when Duane Forrester ( Senior Project Manager at Bing that time) mentioned this in a Webmaster Blog in the year 2011.


Wondering if it is helpful in any way or just a hype?

Well! It is one of those metrics which are highly misunderstood by most of the digital marketing agencies or SEO experts.

Let’s shed some of the insights regarding dwell time which will help you generate more leads, conversions, and ultimately higher ROI.

First, of all, take a moment of your time to understand what dwell time exactly is.


It is basically the period of time that a user spends looking at any website or webpage after clicking on the link available while searching the SERP results. For instance, if you are searching “DWELL TIME” and click on the link that interests you.

The time that you spend on that website before clicking on the other link provided in the SERP results is basically considered as the “dwell time”.
So, ideally, longer dwelling time is equivalent to better SERP results.
Great! Isn’t it?

But, here is the glitch, dwell time is often confused with other terms which are completely non-interchangeable.

  • Dwell Time and Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is when a user views just a webpage of your site and leave immediately. Not all users who bounce back come from SERP results. It can be some other site which has mentioned the link of your page. Or even if they did find the page using SERP results, but might have closed down the link and navigated directly to the other site.

It hardly matters whether the person on your page is present for 2 seconds or 2 hours. It will still be considered as a bounce rate.

  • Dwell Time and Average Time Spent On A Page

SEO experts or other digital marketers also confuse the average time on a page with dwell time. But, the average time is basically the approximate time frame a user or a customer spends on one of your pages.

The source where they found the link of your page can be anything- social media, email, or others.

  • Dwell Time and Duration Of A Session

Session duration is a metric which depicts the time spend on your website. If the session did not start with SERP results, then it definitely will not end back to the same page.

  • Dwell Time and Click-Through Rate

Click-through rate is the approximate percentage of the users that actually clicked your webpage link to the total numbers of online users who went by surfing through your link.

  • Dwell Time and RankBrain

RankBrain uses the user’s search history to make predictions and gathers data as per the user’s searching intent and what they usually click for a search query.


Now, that we are well versed with the concept of Dwell Time, let’s move forward and answer some of the searched queries concerning this terminology.


Can Dwell Time Impact SEO?

Well, that’s still a mystery. However, at the end of 2017, the head of Google Brain said that as Google is integrating machine learning into determining the search results, so it might be one of the 200 factors that might affect the ranking of your site in a big way.

However, the concept about dwell time will only come into play as a factor impacting ranking in the SERPs when your site is among the top 10.


What Are The Factors Impacting Dwell Time?

Keep a track on the following factors that might affect the dwell time of your webpage.

  • Mobile-Responsive

Smartphones are a thing of today. So, if your website does not engage users via smartphones, you will lose a lot by having a low dwell time. So, create a mobile-friendly version of your website to attract users on your website.

  • Irrelevant Tags

Title tags and descriptions are something which gives an idea about the content of the webpage. But, if they are different as what they are supposed to be, then visitors will get back from your website to other pages in the SERPs

  • Page Loading Time

More than 40% of the users leave the websites which take more than 3 seconds of loading speed. So, make sure your website loads within time or else you will have to face consequences in the form of losing conversions.

Already on the top of search results?
No need to worry about dwelling time.

But, in case, you are not among the top 10 search results, get started with on-page SEO now, or consult your digital marketing agency for other factors which might be affecting your SERP rankings.


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