• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Weird traffic spike

Solidus

Well-known member
#1
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?
 

Mr Lucky

Well-known member
#2
Sounds like a Google algorhythm update. Is your site mobile friendly? I think some of their updates are in that regard lately.
 

RobParker

Well-known member
#4
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.
 

Mr Lucky

Well-known member
#5
What's weird is that sessions and users are up 10/15%.
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.
 

RobParker

Well-known member
#6
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.
If both changes happened on the same day, it's hard to believe they're unrelated.

I suspect an "event" of some kind.
 

Mr Lucky

Well-known member
#7
If both changes happened on the same day, it's hard to believe they're unrelated.

I suspect an "event" of some kind.
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.
 

RobParker

Well-known member
#8
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.
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.
 

Mr Lucky

Well-known member
#9
Sessions up and bounce rate up both suggest something suddenly bringing in way more traffic .
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?
 

Solidus

Well-known member
#10
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%.
 

RobParker

Well-known member
#11
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?
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:

Referrals
Network Referrals
Landing Pages
 

Solidus

Well-known member
#12
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.