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I have some strange data I am trying to figure out.

For most of 2017, the bounce rate for my site has been around 85%. The time on page was about 2:00 minutes. Pages per session were a little over 1.

I added a related posts widget to expose some relevant posts for visitors also read. Since that time, the bounce rate has dropped to around 20%. The average time on page has gone up to a little under 5:00 minutes. Yet the pages per session is the same, a little over 1.

Any one have some idea what is going on?

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It is possible that some kind of event tracking has been introduced with the widget? Does the widget have any built-in tracking?

If an event is firing and is not a 'non-interaction' event, GA will treat it like a page view, affecting the bounce rate.

This would also affect the average time on page, as that metric removes any single-hit sessions (i.e. bounces) from its calculations (read more on this here).

You could use the GA Debugger to see if any new GA events are occurring (they'll show up in the console of your browser's developer tools).

If you find some kind of event tracking in place, you'd have to change the event to a non-interaction event - by adding:

nonInteraction: true

if the event is sent straight to GA, or by ticking the 'non-interaction event' field in Google Tag Manager if the event tracking is handled there. More info can be found here: https://developers.google.com/analytics/devguides/collection/analyticsjs/events#non-interaction_events

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  • Aha. This is likely part of the problem. I'll investigate. Thanks so much. – Chad J. Jan 26 '18 at 15:56

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