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Groupon Experiment proves you need good SEO

At Groupon, they conducted a potentially dangerous experiment to give us the answer. We don’t recommend you try this at home, but having great confidence that Google could index a site really quickly, we completely de-indexed our site one day.

That’s right — for the sake of SEO science, Groupon deindexed themselves completely for about 6 hours. We know what you’re thinking, but we assure you that this was not just an accident that occurred during use of the remove-this-URL-from-the-index feature in Google Webmaster Tools.

During this test, we examined Organic search and Direct traffic by hour and by browser to any page with a “long” URL, like www.groupon.com/local/san-francisco/restaurants. We define long as being at least in a sub-folder, so this excludes the home page and top level folders like/coupons, /getaways, etc. (We excluded these “short” URLs because those are pages that actually do get a fair amount of Direct traffic — on the homepage, Direct really is Direct.)


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