Google Analytics issues continue for users after sessions update

Summary:A number of Google Analytics users still seem to be experiencing issues from an August 11 update, despite a fix implemented by Google. Is that change still affecting users or is it something completely different?

Have you noticed any strange occurrences of data/traffic loss or traffic reports taking significantly longer to update in your Google Analytics account? If so, you're not the only one. As of today, I've noted from a number of individuals -- including a couple of our writers right here on ZDNet -- who are experiencing anomalies in their data this week. My guess is that the issues are residual effects from an August 11th update Google made which changed the way Google Analytics ends a session. Previously, sessions ended as follows:
- More than 30 minutes have elapsed between pageviews for a single visitor. - At the end of a day. - When a visitor closes their browser.
But with the change in place, sessions now end as follows:
- More than 30 minutes have elapsed between pageviews for a single visitor. - At the end of a day. - When any traffic source value for the user changes. Traffic source information includes: utm_source, utm_medium, utm_term, utm_content, utm_id, utm_campaign, and gclid.
6 days later, on August 17th, Google updated their post to note a fix they implemented after discovering an issue that was unexpectedly affecting traffic data for some Analytics users with sites configured one of two ways. From Google:
We identified an issue responsible for unexpected traffic changes following our recent update to how sessions are defined in Google Analytics. A fix was released at 2pm PST Tuesday August 16th. The issue affected some sites using the following configurations: 1. If a user comes to a customer’s site with a space in some part of their traffic source data, then revisit the same landing page during that session by refreshing the page or later pressing the back button, a new session will be created for every hit to that page. (Clicking a link elsewhere on the site that leads back to the page should not matter.) 2. Google Analytics implementations using multiple trackers (an unsupported configuration) are also affected when a space is included in the traffic source data. These sites will see fewer visits from new visitors, and more visits from returning visitors (with some variation due to different implementations). Again, a fix for this issue was released yesterday. Please let us know if you continue to see unexpected traffic changes. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support.
A quick look through the comments of the post yields a varied range of problems people seem to be experiencing up to this very moment, including data refresh issues which I am also noticing with my Google Analytics reports. For all we know, Google is working on yet another completely new change they've said nothing about at the moment. But while it's impossible to say for sure what the cause is for the issues experienced by Google Analytics users as of this very moment, there's a parallel between the issues currently being experienced and those experienced a week ago prior to the fix noted above. Either way, it's clear that Google has some shoring up to do to get its Analytics platform back up to par for some of its users. How about you? Is your Google Analytics data taking a hit, are you noticing significantly delayed update times for your reports, or are you perhaps experiencing different issues altogether? Let us know in the comments below! -Stephen Chapman
SEO Whistleblower

Topics: Apps, Banking, Google

About

Stephen is a freelance writer and blogger based in Charlotte, NC. His contributions to ZDNet cover topics related to security, gaming, Microsoft, Apple, and other topics of interest with a tech/SMB skew.

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