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double counting and historical data

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# 1
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I'm doing some work for a large site that has just undergone a redesign to a major section within the past year.  The bounce rate was less than one percent, and in checking the code and using google tag assistant, it's pretty clear that there was double counting occurring in GA for at least the last 12 months. 


I've been asked to assess the impact on their reporting, specifically the reporting they had done on unique users/ month. I've never dealt with a code implementation issue that has gone on for so long. I know that double counting affects the pageviews obviously and so much else. However, does it double the unique users as well?


Logically, it would seem that one instance of the tracking code would fire and count the user the first time and then count a returning user in the second instance, therefore over counting return visits. Would it work that way when they are on the same page?


Thanks for any help

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: double counting and historical data

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# 2
Top Contributor
A return visit would only appear after the first session ended and they returned for a second session. The double hit would appear in the first session, not as a double session. What you could expect is:
- double the pageviews (and goal completions)
- dramatically reduce the bounce rate to a very low number (essentially no bounces)
- set time on page for each page visited to a much lower number (would normally ignore bounces, but they all became very short pageview times)
- not really affect avg session duration much (time between first and last page viewed would not change; bounces were considered zero time anyways)
- not affect the % new users or users counts (same number of users and user session counts)

Mike Sullivan, Google Analytics Top Contributor
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