Joined: 09 Jul 06
24 Jan 14 2:21 am
Whether Google pays attention to how many of your visitors end up returning, and whether they use that in their rankings... it's all a matter of speculation. It's not the craziest thing I've heard. It could be one of a bunch of things they look at to figure out if your site is actually providing a good experience for people.
If you use Google Analytics on your site, all your visitors are cookied by Google. So they know when that user returns -- even if they don't come through Google search. When you look inside Analytics you'll get all that data laid out for you: New vs returning visitors, how often people visit, how recently they've visited, how many visits it takes for them to do a particular thing.... if we as webmasters can see it all, then Google can definitely see it all too.
Personally... I don't think it's going to be a HUGE factor. But if it doesn't hurt, and it's not a huge bother, I'd probably do it.