This isn’t because Google knows they left right away —, it is because they have no idea of when the user left so they couldn’t calculate the Time on Page, and they consider the lack of a value means 0 . Google Analytics actually takes this into account when calculating the Avg Time on Page (ref), removing the influence of the lack of exit page data: If a page does not have a high exit rate (% Exits), then the Avg Time on Page is a pretty good reflection of the real average.It could have been Ten seconds or Ten minutes, they don’t know, so they say 0. With a higher exit rate, you should have less confidence in the average metric because the average is based on only the portion of total users that went on to visit another page. Time on Page The Session Duration metric does not have the same capability to overlook the effect of exit pages.The Google Analytics metrics for Avg Time on Page are a good indication of the time users spent looking at a page on your site if the page has a low % Exit.
In the extreme case of a “bounce” visit that has only one page viewed, the Sessions count is 1 but the Session Duration is 0!On the last page, there is no next page recorded, so the Time on Page is unknown (recorded as 0) and the Session Duration completes when they opened the last page. All we know is that they didn’t look at another page on your site within the next 30 minutes (that’s how long a default session lasts). For example, a particular landing page with a high bounce rate like this one (87%), I discovered that 75% of users were still reading the page after 60 seconds, 43% were still reading after Five minutes! With Time on Page, if the page is not the last page in the visit, the time is accurate.For sessions where the user only looked at one page (a “bounce”), as in the Visitor Two example above, the Time on Page and the Session Duration is 0. These “bounces” were very engaged with the content on the page! The problem is with exit pages: the Time on Page is zero.If you have long detailed articles (like this one), you should expect the people indeed reading it should be engaged for a few minutes.
I have a page with the average time on page of Four min. Does this mean that the remaining 10% stay on the page for Four min? Yes, BUT use the Landing Pages report to determine your Bounce Rate NOT the All Pages report. Do let me know if you see anything that can be switched/improved here 🙂 Count(Case When Hits.
There are other problems with these charts as well…,see: When bounce rate will counted.