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I have a travel website. Just for information purposes, I had put a weather page. Now I realize that this page is increasing my overall bounce rate; because people who are looking for the weather forecast are landing on that page and getting what they want and exiting.

What is the safest method to get rid of that page? Would it hurt my google rank if I remove it completely? Or is there a better way to handle this situation? I realize that around 21 percent of my daily hits are on that page.

I would have been happy if my aim was to provide weather data for the location; however, my site needs to focus on selling hotels. So I think I need to get rid of this weather page immediately. What do you think?

  • I am assuming that this page is increasing my overall bounce rate. Please see the figures: Default page: 33.37% Weather Page: 79.87% Map Page: 80.06% Do you think I need to be worried? – Savaş Zorlu Jun 4 '14 at 12:46
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For this kind of site, it can be considered as a little bit weird to display the weather because it's kind of off-topic. That's why, I understand your concern and if I were you, I would also get rid of this page.

Here the process I would follow:

  1. Removing the page (a 404 HTTP status is sent for this page)
  2. Redirecting users to a specific 404 page (to encourage visitors to navigate to other pages by introducing for example the best parts of your site...)

This weather page will disappear from index of search engines (of course Google included) and it most probably not hurt SEO of your site. And you maybe don't lose all these 21% of visitors.

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  • Thank you for the fast response. This approach will reduce my site hits by about 21%. But I guess this 21% hit was not any good for me anyways. But I was wondering, instead of removing the page, can I make it useful by trying to encourage visitors of this page to navigate to other pages? It's sort of terrifying to let go 21% of visitors, even if they don't buy anything. But again, they seem to be harming my site by increasing the bounce rate. Sort of a dilemma isn't it? – Savaş Zorlu Jun 4 '14 at 12:38
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    You should always encourage your users to visit other pages :) – Martijn Jun 4 '14 at 12:41
  • @guys: I have edited my answer. – Zistoloen Jun 4 '14 at 12:56
  • Zistsoloen, do you think it is better to try and encourage them to navigate to other pages without actually deleting/delisting the weather page? I am concerned because I fear that loosing 21% hits could effect my overall ranking in google. also as I have given the figures above, do you actually think I am right to think that they are affecting my overall bounce rate? or is google smart enough to understand that these people are actually getting what they want? The bounce rates: Default page: 33.37% Weather Page: 79.87% Map Page: 80.06% – Savaş Zorlu Jun 4 '14 at 13:02
  • Martijn you are right. I tried everything to make them navigate to other pages, but they don't seem to be interested. Maybe if I put a one minute http auto refresh on the page and force them to navigate? would that be penalized by SE's? – Savaş Zorlu Jun 4 '14 at 13:06
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You could just add a metatag to indicate to serach engines not to index it, without removing it:

<meta name="robots" content="noindex" /> 

This way you can keep the page, which can be relevant to your on-site users (I think it's a handy feature, I'd like to know the weather where I'm going), and still tell SE's not to index it, without getting any penalty.

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  • Thanks Martjin, should I also change the internal links to the page to nofollow? – Savaş Zorlu Jun 4 '14 at 12:42
  • nofollow means "dont follow any of the anchors found on this page", which isn't what you want (taking a bold guess, you want the rest of your site properly indexed ;) ) – Martijn Jun 4 '14 at 12:42
  • I'll rephrase: I have links to this weather page from my footer. I meant to ask if I should make those "nofollow" – Savaş Zorlu Jun 4 '14 at 12:44
  • You could, but I dont think it's worth the effort. When SE's follow the footer's url, and get on the weatherpage, they'll get the message there – Martijn Jun 4 '14 at 12:49

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