A site I have is set up to redirect (301) to another site. But strangely the redirected site is accruing sessions in Google Analytics. The session numbers for each site (the redirected one and the one it redirects to) don't even match.

What could cause this to happen?

2 Answers 2


It is possible that many or all of those sessions are coming from analytics spammers. Spammers have realized that they can inject data into your Google Analytics without ever even visiting the site. They simply make calls directly to Google's tracking scripts reporting that they have visited your site (even though they never have).

They often do this to advertise a website in your referral reports, or event reports.

You can check for spammers by going to Audience -> Technology -> Network and clicking the link to report Hostname vs Sessions. It should always be your domains under hostname.


In Firefox and Opera, the cache of 301 redirects is stored separately from the traditional cookie jar. By storing a cookie string in a 301 redirected url, you can effectively keep the same cookies for users even if the cookies are cleared.

The current implementation of 301 redirect caching in Firefox and Opera allows for tracking of users who may otherwise believe their sessions cannot be connected to previous web browsing. Clearing cookies in Internet Explorer and Chrome refreshes 301 redirect cache.


  • Please quote your sources.
    – MrWhite
    Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 11:35

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