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Sudden Unexplained Change in Page Views and Bounce Rate

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi all,

 

I had a sudden, unexpected change in page views and bounce rate 6 days after lots of spam & ghost traffic started arriving on Google Analytics. However, after the spam has been cleaned (filters were applied) the bounce rate stays near 84% and the page views not much more than 1 page view per visitor.

 

1.PNG2.PNG

 

I have lots of questions but the main objective is to understand WHY the sudden change happened.

 

1. Was the 8-9% average bounce rate I had before the jump unusually low? I was told that in the Google Webmaster Forum. 

 

2. I had this piece of code installed as well as the usual Google Analytics tracker code:

 

function ccAddAnalytics() {
            jQuery.getScript("http://www.google-analytics.com/ga.js", function() {
              var GATracker = _gat._createTracker('UA-XXXXXXXX-X');
              GATracker._trackPageview();
            });
          }

 

Was this a legitimate piece of code or not? However, IMPORTANT, when I 'commented this piece of code out' (/* */) over 48 hours ago, there was no change to bounce rate or page views. Therefore it doesn't seem to have had anything to do with the bounce rate.

 

3. I used Google Tag Assistant to check that the code is implemented correctly. I first got this:

 

tag-analysis2.PNG

 

However, when I clicked once on the 'X' next to no. 1 (the blue 'unhappy face' next to GA tracker code) it disappeared (from all my pages) and now the Tag Assistant gives a 'happy' report and only one tracker code for all the pages I tested on my site so far.

 

4. Around the same time as the bounce rate suddenly changed I was experimenting with creating a new VIEW on Google Analytics. I followed instructions somewhere that told me that I had to follow a procedure which involved pasting more code to my website code. I don't remember exactly what I did, but the new view I created is now in the trash bin, waiting to be permanently deleted on the 2nd Feb. I'm not sure if it can be somehow affecting my website tracking even though it's in the bin, and I can only find one piece of GA tracker code on my site 'page source view' (right-clicking in the left-hand corner of my website on the browser window). (Read this point 4 together with point 3 above.)

 

I didn't make any big changes to my site around the time the bounce rate suddenly jumped. The newsletter pop-up and my site design stayed the same. I also wasn't adding any heavy links that would have slowed page load times (unless something happened behind the scenes - e.g. by my hosting provider - that I am unaware of).

I have confirmed at Google Webmaster Forum and with my hosting provider that my site has not been hacked.

I don't think this is caused by Google Algorithm change since the visitor numbers stay the same throughout the other changes.

I don't think this is caused by ghost traffic because in my 'unfiltered view' it shows that the ghost traffic/ spam bots have stopped coming (odd that they would stop soon after I created filters to filter them out but that seems to be the case).

 

Thank you for helping. The main thing for me is to understand why the sudden change in bounce rate and page views happened and to make sure that my GA code is installed correctly and that I can trust my stats now.

 

Many thanks,

Sudden Unexplained Change in Page Views and Bounce Rate

Explorer ✭ ✭ ✭
# 2
Explorer ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi @Orlaugh T ,

It seems you are facing lots of issues. Sorry that I didn't get some parts but i'll answer some of it:
 Your Point 1 -  The 84% Bounce Rate is believable, rather than 8-9%. This low bounce rate issue occurs mostly because of 2 (or more) analytics codes placed on website(& sending hits to same property UA-xxxxxxx).  

Your Point 3-4 - Creating,editing,deleting the view does affect the data collection process. (You can only filter the data which is collected via view filters.) 


Hope this Helps,
Thanks,
Ritwik

Re: Sudden Unexplained Change in Page Views and Bounce Rate

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi @Ritwik B,

Your Point 1 -  The 84% Bounce Rate is believable, rather than 8-9%. This low bounce rate issue occurs mostly because of 2 (or more) analytics codes placed on website(& sending hits to same property UA-xxxxxxx).  

Thanks. Would the PAGE VIEWS look artificially high also if there were 2 bits of GA tracker code in my website code? In any case I'm fairly certain that there were NOT two instance of GA code installed before the sudden bounce rate hike since I didn't make many changes to the site around that time, apart from creating the second view in GA. 

Your Point 3-4 - Creating,editing,deleting the view does affect the data collection process. (You can only filter the data which is collected via view filters.) 

I don't understand this. How can I check that the views I created are not causing problems? Is it possible that the deleted view (which is now in GA trash can awaiting deletion) is still causing problems? Is there a way to delete that view from the trashcan before the 2nd Feb when it's due to dissappear?

 

Thank you for helping.

Ulla

Sudden Unexplained Change in Page Views and Bounce Rate

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi all,

 

I know I wrote a very long 'question', but the main things I need help with are:

 

- How to know what caused the sudden bounce rate jump? Good guesses anyone?

- How to ensure that my GA code is installed properly?

 

Many thanks,

Ulla