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AMP pages in Google Analytics: Avg. Time on Page = 0 for Organic searches that bounce

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# 1
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We recently added AMP pages and google analytics tracking. The system works and captures data normally when visitors come to the site directly, ie when pages are not served by Google's cache. However, for organic traffic most pages show Avg. Time on Page = 0, unless it seems, the user clicks on another page on the site. We suspect an issue where, if an AMP page is served by Google's cache and the user just reads that page, it will record Avg. Time on Page as zero. Has anyone else seen this pattern? Any workaround?

 

Attaching a table from recent AMP page stats to illustrate this. amp pages - zero time on page unless no bounce.png 

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Re: AMP pages in Google Analytics: Avg. Time on Page = 0 for Organic searches that bounce

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# 2
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Notice that when your average time on page is 00:00:00, your bounce rate is 100%. Check this generic (non-AMP specific) explanation of bounce rates and time-on-page: http://wordsbyevanporter.com/zero-time-on-page-in-google-analytics/
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Director of Marketing | Nehmedia | Partner Profile

Re: AMP pages in Google Analytics: Avg. Time on Page = 0 for Organic searches that bounce

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# 3
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Thanks Philip. Quote from this post:

"This whole post was a really long-winded way of saying, "Google Analytics has flaws in how it records Time on Page. You can be aware of it, but there's not much you can really do unless you like tinkering with raw Analytics code and producing dummy pageviews.""

The workarounds all have side effects and still don't measure the actual time on page, when a visitor does not click on another URL of the same site. Surprised Google Analytics cannot record the time a user leaves a page for another site or in the case of AMP, clicking the Back button. As AMP goes mainstream, by the nature of Google's cache adding a navigation bar at the top of every page it serves, the behavior of users popping in and out is only going to increase, which will magnify the flaw in the current implementation of GA.

Re: AMP pages in Google Analytics: Avg. Time on Page = 0 for Organic searches that bounce

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# 4
Rising Star
You can go hard-core like the Washington Post did https://developer.washingtonpost.com/pb/blog/post/2016/07/15/amp-up-with-progressive-web-apps/

I've experimented with user timings in AMP - it works, but the clients who I have that are interested aren't getting enough AMP traffic to justify the dev cost right now. Easy to code, PITA to test.
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Director of Marketing | Nehmedia | Partner Profile