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Weird traffic spike

Discussion in 'Forum Management' started by Solidus, Aug 25, 2016.

  1. Solidus

    Solidus Well-Known Member

    On August 6th, 2 things happened.

    1: Daily page views dropped by 50%, and has since dropped a further 10%.
    2: Bounce rate increased from 2.5% to 33%. I've never seen this above 3% before.

    What's weird is that sessions and users are up 10/15%.
    Any idea what could cause such dramatic changes to page views and bounce rate? Anything else in Analytics I should check?
  2. Mr Lucky

    Mr Lucky Well-Known Member

    Sounds like a Google algorhythm update. Is your site mobile friendly? I think some of their updates are in that regard lately.
  3. Solidus

    Solidus Well-Known Member

    Yes, very much so.
  4. RobParker

    RobParker Well-Known Member

    A big increase with lots of bounces sounds like you got featured somewhere (reddit, facebook, etc). Can you check your referrers for the same period?

    Not sure if that accounts for the page view drop unless the extra traffic put a strain on the server and your site was down for a while.
  5. Mr Lucky

    Mr Lucky Well-Known Member

    It's not weird. These are two different sets of stats.

    Your members are on the up, they will go to your forum whatever and not rely on Google.

    But casual non registered viewers get there via Google search, and it's presumably those that are down if it's a google algorhythm change and you have lost some positions in the search results.
  6. RobParker

    RobParker Well-Known Member

    If both changes happened on the same day, it's hard to believe they're unrelated.

    I suspect an "event" of some kind.
  7. Mr Lucky

    Mr Lucky Well-Known Member

    It's not that big of a change in the member behaviour or that much of a coincidence.

    I had a 50% rise, all due to one member joining and posting loads of assinine memes which got lots of discussion going.
    StarArmy likes this.
  8. RobParker

    RobParker Well-Known Member

    Sessions and users up by 10% in a single day is HUGE (unless you're talking 10 members becoming 11). Happening at the same time as another big change suggests a causal link.

    Sessions up and bounce rate up both suggest something suddenly bringing in way more traffic (whether that's google or being "slashdotted" somewhere could be found from the referall info). That doesn't explain the drop in page views though unless the extra traffic had an adverse affect on the server or something.

    GA should have all the stats he needs to piece together what happened.
  9. Mr Lucky

    Mr Lucky Well-Known Member

    But extra people who aren't really into the site. So bounce rate means leaving straight away instead of an normal stat of possible visiting several pages.

    We are talking page views yes? Not unique visits?
  10. Solidus

    Solidus Well-Known Member

    I'll take a look further into analytics after work. Anything is particular you suggest?
    It's important to note that this happened on the 6th and has not recovered. Daily page views have remained 50% lower, and bounce rate remains at 33%.
  11. RobParker

    RobParker Well-Known Member

    That's consistent with a lot of people visiting (mostly likely from it being promoted somewhere) and then leaving after the one thing they came to read.

    Solidus, check these for the date that was affected to see where the traffic came from:

    Network Referrals
    Landing Pages
  12. Solidus

    Solidus Well-Known Member

    Top referrals for the week commencing August 6th,

    1: Competitor forum which no longer exists
    2: PayPal
    3: Outlook
    4: t.co

    Not big numbers, couple hundred sessions each.

    Network referrals

    1: Twitter
    2: Facebook

    Again, not big numbers

    Landing pages

    1: / (50% of it)

    Bounce rate for / is 20%, the previous month (same week) was 2%.
    Thought for the week commencing August 6th, there's a bunch of landing pages with bounce rates at 45%, 90%, 85%, 35%. This was not the case before.
  13. Solidus

    Solidus Well-Known Member

    Noticed an error in Analytics.
    (not set) entry present in reports for property PROPERTY_NAME

    As seen here: http://www.lunametrics.com/blog/2015/01/08/fix-google-analytics-notifications/
    I have changed

    ga('create', '{$xenOptions.googleAnalyticsWebPropertyId}', 'auto');
    ga('send', 'pageview');

    ga('send', 'pageview');
    ga('create', '{$xenOptions.googleAnalyticsWebPropertyId}', 'auto');

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