I take care of a company intranet and measure the traffic with GA. I am absolutely sure that there are no more than 5000 URLs in our company and it is impossible to check the intranet from outside the company network. Yet when I check the number of Unique Visitors (UV) in the last year GA says there were 36.500 of them. How is that possible? I thought UV should measure each URL only once in the given time period.

Could anybody explain how this actually works? Can it be that the cookie trackers expire after some time and are counted more then once?

  • The cookie does not expire by itself (at least not within a year), but if a visitor deletes his cookie he will be registered as a new unique visitor the next time he visits the site. – Eike Pierstorff Jul 30 '13 at 12:28
  • I am sure people don't delete their cookies...they don't even know there are cookies in their computers. – DDEX Jul 30 '13 at 12:31
  • Do they have multiple browsers or can access the intranet with multiple devices (which would mean they are tracked as multiple visitors) ? I guess they have to log in to use the intranet, so you could switch to Universal Analytics and pass a uuid per user to GA when they log in - that way you would not have to rely on cookies at all. – Eike Pierstorff Jul 30 '13 at 12:39
  • We cannot access the intranet with the mobile devices or from any other machines except our work PCs. Maybe few people have the privilege to work from their home computer but this definitely isn't a standard. We don't log in - the intranet can be accessed from within our company network..but I don't know the technical details I am a marketing guy. It is weird anyway. – DDEX Jul 30 '13 at 13:30

Unique visitors refers to how many different people visited the site, regardless of which or how many pages they viewed.

How many people in your company? If it's way less than 36,500 I'd agree something is wrong.

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in order to get around these potential inaccuracies, you can create a custom report with a non-date dimension that will be the same across sessions for users (e.g., Browser), thereby ensuring Calculation #2 is used.

It may have something to do with spikes in traffic and the date sampling. Since the visitors are so centralized to the middle of the day.

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