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Website Analytics - Tracking and Logging Forum

Has the recent change to Google Analytics affected your results
google analytics change

Msg#: 4350917 posted 4:55 pm on Aug 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

I was looking at my Google analalytics for our site and was at first happy to see a 50% increase in traffic. I assumed it came from a Google panda update. However, by the end of the day I realized the traffic had pretty bad metrics: low time on site; low page views (30% lower than the week before).

I began to investigate and sure enough the metrics were the same for all search engine traffic (not just google) and on all browser types (no technical flaw with the site.) So I researched a little online and found that Google had in fact made a change to their analytics: [analytics.blogspot.com...]

Anybody else experiencing screwy results from the G. Analytics? If so, how are you planning on dealing with this new set of data? It's almost like we have to re-asses the baseline again... I'm hoping someone has a better idea!



Msg#: 4350917 posted 8:54 pm on Aug 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

@Lenny2 I'm seeing the same problems, and seems like others are as well. Some conversations over in Google/SEO thread: [webmasterworld.com...]


10+ Year Member

Msg#: 4350917 posted 2:13 pm on Aug 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

Same problems here. Contacting our google rep on monday.


Msg#: 4350917 posted 10:39 pm on Aug 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

If you are using Visitors as the dimension, do you see any difference?

Speedmaster 7

5+ Year Member

Msg#: 4350917 posted 5:38 pm on Aug 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

@Lenny2 I'm seeing the same trend as well. The timing jives with what the Google Analytics blog post says, but the blog post also says more users will see a 1% change, not a 30%/50% change like we're seeing. Also, I'm seeing a similar trend in Google Adwords and comparison shopping referrals.


WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 4350917 posted 9:18 am on Aug 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Damn! When I saw an uptick in Visitors I was pleased. When I noticed that all sites had a similar uptick I was suspicious - and that blog post explains it :(
Closer examination shows that page views aren't up, they are just splitting out the visitors more :(
I think this change leads to an inaccurate interpretation of the data, and I don't see how it is useful.


5+ Year Member

Msg#: 4350917 posted 12:55 pm on Aug 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Anybody noticing starting yesterday a major difference in return vs. new visitor count in GA?

I mean, I noticed one around August 11 or so when the session parameters changed, but yesterday it was dramatic. Like, twenty-five percent difference. So far today (and it's early yet, but not THAT early) the numbers are even more bizarre.

It's not one visitor, either. And it's all search traffic.


Msg#: 4350917 posted 2:48 pm on Aug 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

I just don't get it. My visits increase by 10,000 but my absolute unique visitors stay the same. Does that mean that half my visitors are visiting twice or more on the same day. This would totally change my outlook about my website, my typical visitor, everything, and this website is 5 years old, I though I knew a little bit about my visitors by now!


Msg#: 4350917 posted 4:18 pm on Aug 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

We were using some some Google tracking URLS internally. Ever since this update hit we saw a large increase in visits (it was double and triple counting some of our visitors), like you guys we were excited at first but then realized something was up. I guess we will just remove the tracking URLs and hope everything returns to normal...


Msg#: 4350917 posted 10:30 pm on Aug 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

@thedonald123 Only change relating to visits count is an end of session occurs when a visitor enters the site from a new source (actual or tagged) [analytics.blogspot.com...]


Msg#: 4350917 posted 1:01 pm on Aug 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

I've seen the same 25-50% increase in visits when comparing each hour of the day to the same day of the week (in previous weeks before the change).

However, for today the number of visits per hour are pretty much the same as last Wednesday. Is anyone else seeing this? Have Google reverted back to the previous method of reporting visits?

(I'm based in the UK if that makes any difference)


Msg#: 4350917 posted 4:19 pm on Aug 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Looks GA fixed the issue, things were back to normal around 3pm yesterday.


10+ Year Member

Msg#: 4350917 posted 4:26 pm on Aug 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Are absolute unique visitors affected by the analytics change?


Msg#: 4350917 posted 10:52 pm on Aug 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Looks like Google may have rolled back the change. Were seeing almost the same results in analytics as we used to see. The only two metrics that look like they may be off is time on site and bounce rate. Bounce rate "looks" higher than normal (a bad thing) and time on site looks lower than normal (a bad thing). I'll give it a couple of days to see if it evens itself out. Anybody else seeing this?

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