Recently, a prospective client called me panicked. Their Google Analytics code wasn’t correctly reporting their traffic and their bounce rate was 100%. Their concern was that Google would see this and penalize their site for having such a large bounce rate. I explained to him that, although this does appear alarming, this wasn’t really a valid concern.
Here is why: We need to give Google a little more credit. If you think Google isn’t watching your every move, you are sorely mistaken. They watch things like a hawk, analyze data, test websites, test rankings, check coding, look at performance, etc. Although the numbers that you might be seeing in your Google Analytics account may reflect unfavorable data, Google is smart enough to see what is really happening, the big picture, if you will. He/she/it (Google) is able to tell what your actual website activity looks like and can see that, while your coding may be installed incorrectly, visitors arrive to your website (or don’t), they engage (or don’t) and your website performs (or doesn’t).
The client was correct in his concern that Google would penalize his website based on a significant bounce rate, however wasn’t taking into consideration the power of the Great Google! Oftentimes, we encounter similar questions where a client is given a piece of information, but not the entire picture. I always enjoy fielding questions like this because it causes me to step back and take a look at the bigger picture too. Sometimes we are so focused on changes and adjustments we need to make on the campaign level, that we neglect the bigger picture. It is always interesting to put on your Google Goggles* to try to see things the way that they Google does. Once you can step back far enough to see the big picture, I often find that solutions to your sticky problems will magically appear. And that, my friends, is a big part of your Search Engine Optimization campaign!
*Google Goggles aren’t available for purchase in the Continental United States…or anywhere, for that matter (because they aren’t real…YET!!).
Jori Stevian is an Account Manager at SEOhaus. If you would like to stay up-to-date on all of the latest SEO industry news and tips, you can subscribe to our blog here. Thanks for reading the SEOhaus blog!