Is Having StatCounter Code a Problem for Your Site’s Google Ranking

Published on April 7th, 2013 by | Category: Google , Search Engine Optimization

Google’s Panda and Penguin updates has made the webmasters worried and overwhelmed. Although the dust is now settled and everybody knows if his site is affected by these updates or not, still webmasters are worried. Those whose sites are affected, are still looking for a way to have them back on Google first page, and those whose sites are not affected want to stay at the safe side and not to do anything that causes their sites to be penalized. One of the things that webmasters and bloggers talk and ask about is having the StatCounter code, and whether it affects the site ranking on Google or not. They want to know if Google penalizes the sites that the StatCounter code is posted on their pages or not.

StatCounter is a well-known web traffic analyser. Although Google Analytics has attracted a lot of attentions and many webmasters and bloggers prefer it, StatCounter is still popular. When you sign up for a web traffic analyser like StatCounter, you have to post a piece of JavaScript/HTML code on your site in order to track your website traffic through StatCounter. When you use the StatCounter for free and you do not sign up for their paid program, you will have a promotional link in the code you place on your site. This link is what that has worried the webmasters. They wonder if it causes Google to penalize their site or not:

StatCounter code (above) has two parts. The first part that is highlighted in green, is the main part of the code which is necessary for tracking the traffic. The second part is (highlighted in red) is the link to StatCounter.

When you want to track your website traffic properly, this code has to be placed on all pages. If you use a website template, then placing the code in the footer will do the trick and the code will be present on all pages. It is where the problem can come. If you link to a website through all of your pages, then it is possible that Google penalizes your site and also the site that you have linked to it (StatCounter). It is the StatCounter problem to think about having its link on the other sites and becoming penalized because of that. Maybe they don’t care. They should understand that a hidden and non-visible link to fool the search engines is not a good idea and they have to think about it sooner or later. Webmasters also have to be careful and keep themselves at the safe side. Let’s see what the StatCounter users have experienced and if they have been penalized or not.

I have seen so many webmasters asking about having the StatCounter link in different forums and discussion board. One of them asks the other webmasters that:

Is it possible that Google penalizes the site because of having the StatCounter on each and every one of the pages after the Panda and Penguin updates? The StatCounter link gives a hidden and “do follow” link to StatCounter. I have to many websites and the StatCounter code is placed on all their pages. Will this be known by Google as a mass linking attempt and so they penalize my sites?

This question is not asked from Google, and so we don’t know how Google deals with the site-wide StatCounter links. What we do know is that Google is not stupid and it knows what is going on over the internet. They know the StatCounter and its mission very well and I don’t think that you will be penalized if StatCounter link is the only site-wide link you have on your website pages. So there is nothing to worry. I am sure Google has already made an exception about StatCounter and similar sites in its algorithm. In spite of this, there are still a couple of things you can do to stay at the safe side:

1. Sign up for StatCounter paid service which is $5 a month and so the link will be removed from their code.

2. Place the rel=”nofollow” attribute to their link:

3. Make the link visible and nofollow at the same time:

I am not sure if the above two changes are against StatCounter terms of service or not. You can ask them before you do it. However, I don’t think that it should be a problem because they are merely interested in traffic they receive through the link and a nofollow attribute has no affect on the traffic that they will receive through the link.

4. Use Google Analytics which is free and has no link  in its code. I think that is the best solution 🙂

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