Can bounce rate be a ranking factor for Google ? Reduce bounce rate

Yesterday I was in a discussion with one of my Internet marketing friend about the importance of bounce rate to decide the quality of a website. He strongly argued that high bounce rate indicate the inefficiency and low quality of the website but I opposed him by saying bounce rate is not a measure to value the quality of a website. He also said Google may penalize websites with high bounce rate as they are not interesting to to users much. I again argued that bounce rate is not a measurement in Google search result ranking for a website.Later I explained him why Google, Yahoo, Bing and other Search Engines cannot treat bounce rate as a ranking factor for any website.

Issues with treating bounce rate as a ranking factor for any website

Search Engines cannot treat Bounce rate as ranking factor or a measurement of deciding the quality of a website. Bounce rate for a website which deliver high quality content can be high while bounce rate of a scrappy website with many photos of film actress can be low. Bounce rate for Technology websites seems high due to the visitor type. Most users want a solution for their technical issues and after getting solution they will go from the website. They seems not interested to browse more pages in a technology site as technology is not an addiction for most people.

Bounce rate for Photo sites and wall paper sites seems lower than the bounce rate of tech websites, research sites etc. It is because of the nature of content. Wall papers of film stars and gossip stories are more interesting to a normal user. So we can expect him or her to browse more pages in these kind of websites. So bounce rate of glamor and gossip sites is low always. So the nature of the content has a big impact in deciding the bounce rate of a website. Reducing the bounce rate of a website is very nice as it means more page views for your website but there is a practical limit for reducing bounce rate for a troubleshooting kind websites.

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