In America we’re taught to tell someone something nice before we criticize them. I’ve never understood if this is supposed to soften the blow or if it’s a tool to boost their ego before it gets completely crushed. I’ve also been told by a few other cultures I work with that this is an American thing. Because they’ve decoded this peculiar American behavior, if I compliment them they ignore the compliment waiting for the disparaging remark, we’ve trained them to expect.

I find myself doing the same thing. When I hear a compliment, I blow off the compliment and wait in trepidation for the ego crusher. Still, as I engineer I often find myself blindly following social protocols simply because I have no clue why these protocols exist.

Starting with the compliment. I’m glad you’re here. You’ve demonstrated an excellent sense of taste my choosing to read my blog. Really, I know that you are constantly bombarded by requests for your time and attention. Having you read my blog is the sole reason I write this blog and seeing you read my posts really makes my day.

Now to follow up with the negative. However, let me introduce you to some numbers. Since its inception until today, July 31, 2015, Opinionbypen.com has had 22,243 page views with 280 comments. No, that’s not quite true. Just today I had two comments wanting you to know there was a sale on Canadian pharmaceuticals that I deleted rather than subject you to the sale.

Spam aside, I get slightly over one comment for every 100 page views. Some of you are exceptional at leaving comments. I sincerely appreciate the comments I get but there’s a lot of you not making your opinion known. I get it, your time is valuable and when I ask for your email address, you’re sure I intend to sell your address to a spammer. Just between us, I don’t even check to see if your email address is real but if I don’t ask for an address, I’ll get 200 notifications of sales on pharmaceuticals and other less savory merchandise.

I’m bringing this up because a few days ago my insurance agent sent me a link to a post on Net etiquette. The gist of it was, if you don’t have something good to say, you should be quiet. What a boring concept. True, I don’t want any comments telling me, “Your post on The Royal Cobbler stinks,” but I would appreciate seeing your opinion even if you disagree with me. On average, I spend twelve hours putting together a post and artwork. If you don’t read it, I’ve wasted twelve hours of my life don’t have any idea why you decided not to read it.

Concerned about going on record with your comments? Maybe you intend to run for Congress someday and don’t want your comments showing up during your election. You can always use admin@opinionbypen.com. Good or bad, I appreciate hearing from you. Still don’t feel like making comments? Fortunately there’s another way praise your favorite blogger and it’s almost painless.

Bounce rate is one of the factors Google uses to rate a website. Their rating determines how close to the first page your posts appear. The closer to the front, the more likely someone will read the post and after all that’s what we’re after, more readers.

Analytics_sBounce rate is a measure of how interesting people find your site. In Google’s opinion, if you come to my site and only read one page, you didn’t find my site very interesting. If everybody coming to my site only read one page and left, my bounce rate would be 100%, meaning nobody found my site interesting, and Google would be putting me at the very last page of someone’s search request along with all the other boring websites. Ever wonder why websites break up the interesting posts into multiple pages, bounce rate is one of those reasons.

Still don’t understand why bounce rate is so important? Let’s suppose I got ambitious and hosted an exhibit of obsolete microprocessor chips in Weatherford, Texas. The other nineteen people in the world that would find my exhibit interesting rush to Weatherford and leave just as quickly after viewing my exhibit because there’s nothing else in Weatherford of interest to them. That would be the bounce. Weatherford is a great town but it’s better known for its peach festival. A year later they probably wouldn’t remember the name of the town.

I’m very sensitive to bounce rate. One of my most popular posts is the one I did on Ramsay Hunt. Until I did a follow up on it, people would only read that post and then leave, pushing my bounce rate up. Zee’s recent post attracted well over one hundred visitors in less than three days and not one of them took the time to read any other posts. Want to guess what my bounce rate was for those three days?

I don’t blame them, after all they have the same pressures on their time I do and they’ve never heard of bounce rate. On the other hand, you no longer have that excuse. If you appreciate a blog, if you like a writer, take the time to read something else. Everyone wins, you might enjoy the post, the site’s Google ranking goes up and the author appreciates your extra attention. Need a suggestion? If you’re on my website, take a look at the right side of the page. I have a number of random posts just waiting for you to improve my bounce rate.

© Copyright 2015 Byron Seastrunk, All rights Reserved. Written For: Opinion by pen