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We've had Google Analytics running against our Intranet for years now, and on the 12th August 2011 our number of Visits went down by a third and remains at the reduced figure daily. It transpired that a change was made to GA on the 11th (http://code.google.com/apis/analytics/community/gajs_changelog.html), one of those changes is regarding a session not being closed when users close their browser.

Given that everyone in our company has the Intranet site as their home page would this make sense? I'm very close to drawing a conclusion from this change, but I just wanted to see if it's feasible that this would cause this sort of drop?

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It could very well be that it is your internal users. One quick check you can do is look at the # of visitors on the Global and Country map your company is located in for 1 weeks worth of data before Aug 12th and compare it to a weeks worth of data after Aug 12th.

If it was because of a drop in internal traffic, then you should ratio of visits from your companies home town to overall visits drop significantly. If not then it would have to be something else.

Additionally, one way to remove the entire anomaly that in-house visitors cause is to remove them from your GA results. Google has a great article on how do that, http://www.google.com/support/analytics/bin/answer.py?answer=55481.

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As this is an intranet, aren't all visitors by definition internal? –  paulmorriss Oct 5 '11 at 11:42
    
Yes, all of our staff are on the local network. –  Mantorok Oct 5 '11 at 13:24
    
@paulmorriss - I missed that! I never even thought that GA would work on an intranet site but thinking about it I could see no reason why it wouldn't. –  RandomBen Oct 5 '11 at 14:58
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