This post is probably best coming from Kim Krause, our usability expert here, but I thought I give this a shot. A thread over at WebmasterWorld, interestingly enough named New way to manipulate my google traffic..., discusses one person experience with increasing traffic to his site by simply adding pages. The thread goes deeper into what to do in order to "manipulate" that traffic. What he is really asking for is how can he monitor that traffic and learn what changes to make on his pages in order to drive a desired response from his Web visitor.
So, what is the answer? Without Web analytics tools, you are kind of throwing darts with blindfolds on (always wanted to use that phrase). You need to add what is commonly known as "call to actions" to one site, those call to actions are graphics, text boxes or other visual elements that try to drive a certain response. Then after adding those call to actions throughout your pages, you need to monitor the click-through rates and the bounce rates of those pages. Then constantly tweak those pages in order to increase your CTR and decrease your bounce rates.
On my corporate site, after seeking Kim's services (thank you Kim), I made several adjustments. Looking at my Urchin Web Analytics Software I was then able to track the effectiveness of the changes I made throughout my site. For example, my top three entrance pages are my homepage, the RustyBrick Web definitions page and the PageRank Predicition Tool. My homepage has a fairly low bounce rate at 48% for this month, my definitions page has a very high bounce rate at almost 90%, and the PageRank prediction tool has an extremely low bounce rate at 12%. Over the months I have been reducing the bounce rate on my homepage by adding call to actions and more visible links. The definitions page needs some work and I hope to get to that soon. My site drives a lot of traffic from Google Definitions, I have some ideas on how to leverage that traffic in a more optimized manner.
Those are just some ways I review my site's traffic and "manipulate my Google traffic".