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I am in the middle of redesigning a site and am concerned about how my new page design will compromise my google rankings. Essentially I am going to a single page site, using AJAX calls to reload different elements of the site.

I am using traditional anchor links to various parts of the site which trigger AJAX calls using jquery, so the hard links will link to the same info as is loaded via AJAX. My issue is that since only one page will ever be loaded by most visitors, will my 'time on site' be accurately reflected.

Additionally, My site consists of a lot of links to external sites. I have forced these to open in a new tab of the browser, does google record this as visitor leaving my site.

I am using jquery history api to push the history state in modern browsers so that bookmarking can occur and back buttons work, will google analytics record this as a page change or does it not take them into account.

Finally, If all the above will spell disaster, is there any way to send updates to analytics with the ajax calls?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted
  • Google does not use Google Analytics data as part of their ranking algorithm.
  • Google does not track how users use your site since they do not have access to that data. The only possible exception to this is users of the Google toolbar but that data is too incomplete to be used in their ranking algorithm. This means things like bounce rate and time spent on site are not ranking factors (Matt Cutts has even stated bounce rate is not a ranking factor, specifically).
  • What may be a ranking factor is how quickly a user returns to Google's search results after clicking on a link to our site from their search results. This has not been confirmed by Google and as of now there is no evidence that they are doing this (although that doesn't stop people from claiming they do).

Now using Ajax to power your website will affect how Google Analtyics reports on your website. You will need to take advantage of special features in Google Analytics to make sure you are capturing useful information of how your site is being used. Events being one example of that.

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Thank you for your response. Very helpful. –  WebweaverD Mar 12 '12 at 12:56
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