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Organic traffic suddenly showing up as direct

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I've noticed a sudden decrease in Organic Traffic to certain pages on our website starting around 10/25. This issue has persists since then.


What I've come to notice is that the traffic to those specific pages are now showing up as Direct traffic instead of Organic. So what has happened is that I've lost Returning Organic Sessions and have received an increase in Returning Direct Sessions.

 

Was there some sort of classification roll out? Or did some settings change in my GA profile I was not aware of. These anomalies can be found in all the different views under my main account.

2 Expert replyverified_user

Organic traffic suddenly showing up as direct

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

I reckon there has not been any changes on the site or GA settings?

 

Can you share one of these pages so that we can check if session breaks and why it breaks?

--
To make bad day worse, spend it wishing for the impossible

Antti Nylund, Google Analytics Top Contributor
Did my answer solve your issue? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’ Otherwise keep on asking.

Organic traffic suddenly showing up as direct

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

We have just noticed the exact same thing in our reporting. It's client wide - so we know it is a systemic issue. Any possible reason found?

Organic traffic suddenly showing up as direct

Rising Star
# 4
Rising Star

Did you change the cookie timeout? This can cause a sudden drop in organic visits, and an increase in direct, as their original attribution is removed.

John Wedderburn, Advertiser Community, Rising Star
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Organic traffic suddenly showing up as direct

Explorer ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Explorer ✭ ✭ ✭

John cookie timeout can affect like this:

Suppose if i reduce the cookie timeout from 30 min to 20 min then if a user come to the site from organic source within 20 min it will count as organic.But if the same user on the 21st min come to website again directly than it is counted as direct.Previuosly it will counted as organic traffic am i right?

 

 

Organic traffic suddenly showing up as direct

Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Follower ✭ ✭ ✭

Soumik,

 

Are you referring to default session in analytics, which is 30 minutes.  Would you please clarify what you mean by Cookie timeout.

Organic traffic suddenly showing up as direct

Explorer ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Explorer ✭ ✭ ✭

Yes default session in analytics, which is 30 minutes.I mean to say this

Organic traffic suddenly showing up as direct

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

My agency is noticing the same thing for a number of clients, starting about mid-August. Along with this, we saw a spike in traffic coming from Safari browsers and a drastic decrease in Chrome browsers. Are you noticing your traffic from Safari going up as well? 

 

This is a thread I started a few days ago:

https://www.en.advertisercommunity.com/t5/Google-Analytics-Account-Access/Direct-Traffic-Went-Up-Con...

 

Organic traffic suddenly showing up as direct

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

We are also noticing the same thing, but only on select analytics accounts. 

 

Based on our data, it appears that Safari browsers & those users that are using Apple IOS products with an operating system of 9 or higher seem to be what is causing our organic traffic to be recorded as Direct for those users.

 

We saw a massive shift in organic vs direct traffic at the exact same time. It was noted that Apple would be improving security and that data on IOS 9+ using safari(Apples default browser) may not pass the correct 'referrer' (organic) to analytics - which is why it is showing under direct instead as ?/referrer=https://www.google.com/.

 

This is the best solution based on data we could come up with. 

Organic traffic suddenly showing up as direct

Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 10
Follower ✭ ☆ ☆

So what was your solution then of the problem ?