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We have a project, let's call it Foo, available at FooBar.com, but we also had another similar (but less successful) project called Bar, available at Bar.com

So as you might have already noticed Bar has shorter hostname and somehow it's more suitable for this particular project type. At some point we decided to sacrifice Bar project in favor of Foo. So moved the content of FooBar.com to Bar.com +

  • we created a permanent redirect (HTTP 301) FooBar.com => Bar.com
  • on Search Console we requested a redirect for FooBar.com => Bar.com
  • on Bar.com we left the same Google Analytics ID as we had on FooBar.com
  • ... and so on

during the next few days we noticed a very strange thing on Google Analytics: the number of visitors was quite the same, but the bounce rate increased dramatically (from 2% to 60-70%) and page-per-session ration has decreased by 50% (from around 5 to 2.5 pages per session). There is no reason for such changes, because the content is the same, only the hostname has change.

sessions page per session bounce rate

P.S. We have also noticed lower incomes from advertising systems, so it's not just about Google Analytics

  • i guess you redirected every path to an good equivalent? Like FooBar.com/superA => Bar.com/superA? Did you checked the Hostname dimension in Google Analytics? – Milo Tischler Aug 30 '16 at 15:56
  • @MiloTischler yeap, we have created a global domain-wide permanent redirect rule – Salaros Aug 30 '16 at 17:38
  • Congrats, you fixed something without realising it! Bounce rate of 2% means something is/was broken – marktristan Aug 31 '16 at 10:26
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First of all a bounce rate of 2% is highly unlike and occurs mostly when tracking is incorrect due to pageviews being double counted. Now it has been fixed so thats the reason why you are seeing the correct bounce rate.

Secondly notice that you pages per session has dropped 50% which means that if a page was being counted twice Now it is counted once

For decrease in income please check the migration did not cause any error with your conversion tracking also make sure all pages are being redirected correctly and none of them land on 404 pages

Hope this helps,

Cheers Analytics ML.

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Are you sure that together with migration you haven't done antything related to Google Analytics tracking?

The scenario shown:

  • same number of sessions

  • decrease in pageviews

  • increase in bounce rate [from abnormal to normal]

is undoubtedly a sign that you had double invocation of Google Analytics tracking/script.

As for advertising systems - is it "systems", or one system - AdWords? Do you have conversion pixel for counting transactions/conversions or you import conversions in AdWords from Google Analytics?

If it was one system - AdWords, and your conversions were imported in AdWords from Google Analytics [where they've been counted twice] - it could be explanation why you are seeing decrease in number of conversions and revenue.

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