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Understand information in your reports and troubleshoot reporting issues such as self-referrals, (not set) data, and inaccurate information
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Overall drop in sessions, page views, session duration & returning visitors

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭



Since a month we have been experiencing an unexplained drop in our Analytics.






















Recently we made two big changes in our GA:

  1. GTM & Custom dimensions (event based)
  2. Expiration of nearly 2,000 outdated assets (PDFs & images)


To keep an eye on bigger changes in analytics, shared notes were created to indicate what has changed and when.


At first we figured it was due to GTM & custom dimensions, but this changes was implemented on the 11th of April. The drop started happening around 8 April*.

My guess is that the expiration of 2,000 is impacting our analytics more than we thought it would. No redirects were created for these and they show up on the Webmaster Tools as referenced 404 errors. 


Could this be the reason why are traffic dropped? If yes, what action steps will need to be taken to restore it (redirects, reactivation,...)?

If the asset expiration is not the issue, then what could it possibly be?


Thank you in advance for your help and support on this.



* Unfortuntely there was no shared note created on this date.

1 Expert replyverified_user

Overall drop in sessions, page views, session duration & returning visitors

Rising Star
# 2
Rising Star

Hi Anna,


Leaving 2000 pages with 404's could be a huge problem for your organic traffic.  You should 301 re-direct those pages to the most appropriate page that still exists or consider bringing them back. 


It's obvious from your bounce rate that you had an issue with double tracking for a while which has been corrected.  That's also inflated your pageview counts and other metrics while your user counts are similar.  That said, it's hard to know why your numbers have changed.  


You should try to get a handle on that by using the source medium report and your date range comparison and select absolute change as the sort type.  When you toggle on the sessions column you'll see if you are missing traffic from any sources or channels.




Theo Bennett

Analytics Evangelist at MoreVisibility | Contact Me
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