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Multiple "ghost visits" via Google

   
9:05 pm on Nov 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Hi,

There's something weird happing on one of my sites and I'm not sure how to go about trying to prevent it, if it's at all possible. Maybe someone recognises what I'm about to describe...

Everyday I'm getting multiple (5 - 10) "visits" to the homepage of the site via Google through a search (according to Analytics) for "brand name keyword1 keyword2". These visits are only for the homepage file, therefore being registered as 100% bounce every time. SOMEtimes a few other files, e.g. images, are downloaded too, but it's mainly just the homepage file itself that's requested. It used to be from a single IP address too but now that changes. According to Analytics the visitor uses Safari on a Mac. Using this info I saw what was happening on the site logs. What could be causing this? Is it some kind of prefetch phenomenon?

My concern is that so many of these ghost visits, creating a high bounce rate for the above key phrase, is going to jeopardize the site in some way. Should I be worried?
11:04 pm on Nov 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator goodroi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



if 5-10 visits a day can significantly impact your bounce rate i think you have bigger problems.

personally i would not worry too much about it. i have not yet seen evidence that the bounce rate is a significant part of the google ranking algo. i would focus on developing quality links and content. that should help increase your traffic level to the point that 10 visits wont move your bounces rate :)

ps good job monitoring your analytics and looking at your log files to notice this
11:45 pm on Nov 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



According to Analytics the visitor uses Safari on a Mac

Check the full user-agent in your raw access logs.

It will probably include the words "Google Web Preview".

[webmasterworld.com...]

...
11:50 pm on Nov 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Safari "Top Sites" perhaps? [webmasterworld.com...]
2:42 am on Dec 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



if 5-10 visits a day can significantly impact your bounce rate i think you have bigger problems.

Well, it's a niche site. No big e-commerce here. A couple of hundred visits a day means 5-10 "visits" make a difference. I'd hope Google understands scale.
12:21 pm on Dec 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator goodroi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



google does understand scale and it seems like they have multiple ways of measuring a site. i have some small niche websites and the metrics for those sites can greatly vary but my google rankings always stay high.
1:54 pm on Dec 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



The thing that bugs me about this though is that if it is a preview of some kind, why is it continually registering as a Google referal? Surely it would be a direct traffic?
 

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