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Analytics Data - Long Term Decline - Normal?

10:05 am on Apr 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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10+ Year Member

joined:May 3, 2003
votes: 22

While doing the post-mortem on a Panda, I've been evaluating my Google analytics to see what clues I can find in bounce rates etc.

Looking at the long term - (2005 to date), I've noticed a trend of key metrics declining - for example:

Pages per visit - 3.5 in 2005 is 2.3 now
Bounce rate was 51% in 2005 is 64% now
Avg time on site was 2 mins in 2005 is 1m 30sec now

Is this part of a general trend, that people on the web are viewing fewer pages, have higher bounce rates and less time on site - or is this something specific to my site?

I'd be interested in what other webmasters with data going back that far are seeing.
11:50 am on May 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I would say it is normal to a certain extend. Imagine in the past 6 years how many domains were registered vs how many new people gained internet access. I would expect visits to go a bit thinner as well as time spent on the site. Assuming the site holds a certain position.

However if you check the server logs - in case you keep them - you may notice the overall traffic is higher now. More bots looking for things and the ratio of human visitors/bots is way lower than it was 6 years ago.