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I've been investigating a usage spike in our Google Analytics system and have just noticed a change in the historical data.

Last week our the number of users on our site for March 23, 2017 was reported at 13,335. Today that number is 13,985. How can this happen? How can 630 users come to our site for a past day? Additionally the data from last week also dropped 177 users (26,648 vs. 26,825)

Here are screenshots of the analytics reporting (newest first):

New Data

Old:

Old Data

I'm currently investigating how our user usage is increasing but our server logs show no drastic change (aside from Google bots, 2017 google bot count 2k, 2018 bot count 100k (both numbers for the day in question)). The Google bot count make me think Google is altering the way they count themselves.

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"Processing latency is 24-48 hours. Standard accounts that send more than 200,000 sessions per day to Analytics will result in the reports being refreshed only once a day. This can delay updates to reports and metrics for up to two days. To restore intra-day processing, reduce the number of sessions your account sends to < 200,000 per day. For Analytics 360 accounts, this limit is extended to 2 billion hits per month."

https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1070983?hl=en#DataProcessingLatency

Google Analytics may sometimes need a few hours or days to correctly process the traffic for sites. The larger the site is and the more data the site has, the more true this likely is.

Processing Analytics data takes time. There are settings in Analytics in which you can choose precision or speed for your data. https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/2637192

This link may also give you some more information: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/28998085/why-are-google-analytics-dashboard-statistics-changing

  • This is for March 23, 2017 though, should the data still be changing for a date for over a year ago? – chris85 Apr 2 '18 at 15:48
  • Ahh, I didn't realize that this wasn't from 2018. Google Analytics data can sometimes be inaccurate. Here are a couple of articles on the subject: en.advertisercommunity.com/t5/Google-Analytics-Reports/… lunametrics.com/blog/2016/01/13/… - I think it's also possible that your traffic from last year on that day may have included a lot of fake traffic (ie: bots) and maybe Google has corrected it upon discovery – Michael d Apr 2 '18 at 15:54

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