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Google Analytics Bug Squashed

 12:44 am on Aug 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google has released a fix for Google Analytics that corrects a traffic reporting bug introduced by an update to the service last week.

On August 11, Google changed the way Analytics calculates user sessions on websites. But the change also added a bug that misrepresented traffic in some situations.

Since the update arrived, UK-based webmaster Neil Mordecai noticed that his site was vastly under-reporting the number of new users and over-reporting the number of returning users. "Google Analytics have released a buggy version of their system. Since last week...they've been counting on two hands," he told The Register on Wednesday.

"Before the 11th August 'first visit' traffic was typically 80% of the total traffic with 'same day returns' being less 10% - this pattern extends long into the past. After 11 August, 'first visit' traffic dropped well below 50% and 'same day returns' rose to well over 50%."




 2:54 am on Aug 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

Boy, I'm glad they nailed that one. It's already been quite a PITA!


 11:56 am on Aug 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

They did not do jack. My stats are still off as they were for the past week or so.

Now, the site that is 90% organic SEO traffic, 7% direct traffic and 3% referrals for the past 5 years suddenly shows 70% direct traffic, 30% organic SEO traffic and no referrals whatsoever.

The list goes on.

Google needs to hire people who really knows what they are doing. It appears that aside from mediocre programmers they have no quality assurance people on staff and rely on us to troubleshoot their work :)


 1:59 pm on Aug 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

I see big problems as well. It does not look like a fix at all 2 me.

Let me ask a question>

Statcounter shows say 1k in hits an a given day. GA shows 500. I have been seeing this for some time now. Does anybody else use a counter on the site and their numbers a 50% or so less than GA numbers?


 3:53 pm on Aug 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

gotmetoo wrote:
They did not do jack.

bwnbwn wrote:
I see big problems as well. It does not look like a fix at all 2 me.

The bug they fixed was very specific, dealing with new vs. returning visits only. A comment [l3analytics.com] I saw elsewhere claimed that it was the result of GA occasionally improperly updating the tracking cookie, making a visitor's first visit seem like a return visit.

This fix probably wouldn't affect much, if anything, else.



 4:19 pm on Aug 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

Things are better but definitely still off. I am showing 9,079 visits, 12,220 unique visits for one of my sites for yesterday 8/17.


 4:36 pm on Aug 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

It seems to have helped a lot for me -- I was seeing obviously wrong numbers for visits, bounce rate, time on site, and average pageviews. These stats now appear to be returning to plausible levels.

Edit -- post #666, awesome!


 6:19 pm on Aug 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

Found another "bug" in analytics.

This is regarding the Search Engine Referrals
My own stats for a single period show the top referring engines to be (in this order)

1. Yahoo
2. Bing
3 Google

Yet analytics shows:
1. Google
2. Yahoo
3. Bing

think they are scewing the results to


 6:28 pm on Aug 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

I know it was suppose to fix a specific problem, but since this change my GA stats have been so far off from the statcounter numbers why I posted the question. Something has to be different as before the numbers were close now they are so far off one of the counters has to be broke. Either statcounter is broke or GA is.

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