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Leaving a website open in a tab

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi,

 

If you leave a website open in a tab while you open a new tab to go to a new site, what happens to the time analytics of the first site you were on?

 

Does the time counter that contributes to average time spent on page stop since you're no longer engaged with the page or does it carry on since you still haven't closed the page?

 

Thanks

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Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by topic author Charlie B
February 2016

Re: Leaving a website open in a tab

Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 2
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Charlie,

It depends if the user goes back to the page or not. Exit/Bounce pages are not considered in the Time calculation as GA has no time reference point.
2 hits are required to compare time.

The session will also auto expire after 30 minutes.

If the user goes to a new website in a new tab and then comes back to your website before 30 minutes and continues to browse, then yes that time will 'carry on'.

Hope this helps

View solution in original post

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Charlie B
February 2016

Re: Leaving a website open in a tab

Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 2
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Charlie,

It depends if the user goes back to the page or not. Exit/Bounce pages are not considered in the Time calculation as GA has no time reference point.
2 hits are required to compare time.

The session will also auto expire after 30 minutes.

If the user goes to a new website in a new tab and then comes back to your website before 30 minutes and continues to browse, then yes that time will 'carry on'.

Hope this helps

Re: Leaving a website open in a tab

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

Thanks Clynton, that's useful to know.

So the average time on page metric is made up of:

A) All the people that logged onto the page, had a look around (but didn't bounce), then moved on from the page to another or by closing the website

B) All the people who logged onto the page, had a look around then opened up a new tab and went on a new website then came back to the original tab within 30 minutes (this the time that contributes to av.g time on page is then only the time spent actually looking at/engaging with the page then rather than the clock still running while they look at the other website in the new tab, correct?)

 

If they don't return within 30 minutes - what happens to that time? Is it removed from the avg. time on page metric or does it just stop at the last time the user was active before the 30 minutes timeout session began?

Have I understood this correctly?

Thanks a lot,

Charlie

Re: Leaving a website open in a tab

Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Charlie,

Not quiet.

A) In order for the time metric to be calculated there need to be 2 hits to compare the time stamps of. An exit is not considered a hit and therefore if a user spends 60s on page 1 then goes to page 2 for 120 secs and exits on page (without activating any events or anything else GA would consider a hit), then only the time on Page 1 will be taken into consideration.

B) The clock does still run when they are on another tab, I was not very clear in this I realise and apologies for that. But if you think of it in terms of the above example, GA has no idea what you are doing or where, it runs off of hits. So if you were reading a page or cooking dinner with the page open it has no idea, only when you do something else can it then make calculations.

Re: Leaving a website open in a tab

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Ah right.

A) So essentially if a person bounces/doesn't do anything to cause a hit on the second page then only the first page time will be logged. Correct? By the way what counts as a hit - do we define it or does Google?

B) This is interesting. So how distorted could av.g time on page be because people have it hidden behind other tabs or like you say they're cooking? (Rhetorical question). Are there any paid analytics platforms that will provide this information or this as good as the data is right now in the analytics world?

Thanks again

Re: Leaving a website open in a tab

Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
Well the hit is defined by GA, but we control it.

it is essentially anytime information is sent to GA (see link below).

https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/6086082?hl=en

The non interaction of the last page does skew the metric somewhat, and I am not aware of any analytics that deals with it (although I have not specifically looked for one that does). But knowing that this is the case does help understand what you are looking at better.

Re: Leaving a website open in a tab

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thanks a lot for your help Clynton, you've been really helpful.

I have some more questions which I'm going to post in this forum but do you know if there's anywhere I can get an official answer from Google or does the community on here do just as good a job as an official answer?

Re: Leaving a website open in a tab

Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Charlie,

You can always get hold of support and they are very helpful.

The community is personally my go to place as there are many knowledgeable people here.

Support can be found in the top right hand corner of this link:

https://support.google.com/analytics/?hl=en#topic=3544906&contact=1

Good Luck

Re: Leaving a website open in a tab

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thanks a lot Clynton. Great help!

I'll use a mixture of both.

Cheers