Analytics Notes

Those Weird Visits From Google inc.

For several days now, I have noticed visits coming from Google inc. everyday. It’s usually 1 or 2 pages. I started suspecting some kind of spider that would now execute javascripts. I don’t know.

And this morning, I was quite surprised that yesterday visit was clocking more than 8 hours (!!) with only 2 page views.

What? No more visit time out after 30 minutes of inactivity?? Anyone aware of something similar lately?

11 Responses to “Those Weird Visits From Google inc.”

  1. Rudi Shumpert November 22, 2010 at 7:55 am #

    Jacques,

    I would suspect it is coming from the new google preview bot. Some amount of JS must be used to get an accurate screenshot.

    -Rudi

  2. Jacques Warren November 22, 2010 at 8:03 am #

    Hi Rudi

    Interesting. This does not explain why the visit two days ago was being reported in Google Analytics has having 2 pageviews, but lasting more than 8 hours!! As if the GA session time out did not work.

    BTW, any known way of filtering that activity out, without taking out legitimate visitors from Google inc. (not that I get many)?

  3. Rudi Shumpert November 22, 2010 at 8:09 am #

    Hmm.. the 8 hour session is very odd.

    As far as filtering out the google preview visits, check out: http://webanalyticsland.com/sitecatalyst-implementation/how-to-stop-google-preview-from-being-counted-in-sitecatalyst/

    It seems that the google preview bot is registering as Safari 3.1 . So you might be able to check if you have had an uptick in visits from that specific browser. Then you could write some quick JS to block that browser from firing off your tracking code.

    -Rudi

  4. James Standen November 22, 2010 at 9:26 am #

    Definitely sounds like the google preview bot- I noticed this a couple of weeks ago-

    http://www.analyticscanvas.com/google-instant-previews-google-inc-in-your-data/

    The two big effects will be obviously visits- but also, its largely very high bounce traffic- so your bounce rate (and related metrics like average page views and time on site) will get out of wack too.

    Whats interesting is how to deal with it- obviously, we can just filter it out- but there is actually information in there- just not the same information as standard click-bounce. I feel a blog post coming on.

  5. Jacques Warren November 22, 2010 at 8:27 am #

    Thanks again Rudi.

    I would hate to filter out people using that version, though…

  6. Alan K'necht November 22, 2010 at 8:51 am #

    Take a look at this report from Rusty Brick – it is the Google preview tool

    http://www.seroundtable.com/archives/023304.html

  7. Wayne Denman November 22, 2010 at 8:53 am #

    Maybe this is the cause? http://www.seroundtable.com/archives/023304.html

  8. Jacques Warren November 24, 2010 at 8:10 am #

    Thank you all for commenting. Not that it had anything to do with it, but it’s a cool coincidence that GA solved this situation on the same day we had that discussion!

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