Google Analytics Goes Wonky
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Jan 18, 2009
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Talk about your oddities. Deciding to do a regular check of statistics on Google Analytics for this blog, I came across some of the oddest figures I’ve seen in a very long time. I don’t believe them and I’m not trusting them; let me tell you why.
According to Analytics, this blog was visited 661 times yesterday. Remember, that’s not unique views, but supposedly actual visitors. That’s just phenomenal; it blew my scale away. Except I don’t believe it; couldn’t happen.
Why? Because none of the other numbers make any sense. Supposedly, it wasn’t one article that attracted someone’s attention. Every article on the site was visited at least once. The average time per page view was only six seconds. Now, pageviews could be accurate, but it doesn’t correlate with the number of visits.
Out of those 661 visits, 652 of them came from the United States. No, that’s not necessarily uncommon. I thought that maybe it was me, sitting on one of my pages all day, but I didn’t; matter of fact, I actually shut the computer down for a couple of hours yesterday. And, when we look further, 639 of those visits came from California; I live in New York. And even more, 637 of those 639 came from the California city of,… Montara. Where the heck is Montara? My wife said “it’s probably that big dot there”; she’s a poor man’s Bugs Bunny.
So, someone from Montara could have decided to look at every page on my blog, as that’s possible, but that wouldn’t account for 637 visits, would it? I mean, can anyone see one person coming to my blog, looking up a page, then leaving and coming back? And, that person didn’t come back through the main page if they did do it, because the main page doesn’t even show 20 people coming through that way.
Part of me wondered whether it was some sort of botnet attack, but, since I don’t know much about those, it would make me wonder why none of my other sites were “blessed” with such traffic at the same time, since they’re all on the same server. I just don’t get it; strangest thing I’ve yet to see.
Does anyone else have any ideas on this? Obviously there’s nothing I can do about it, but sit here being freaked out and a little bit stunned. I guess I’ll have to keep an eye on things to see if it goes back to normal by tomorrow, but still,… Weird.