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8 replies to this topic

#1 Hans G.

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 10:57 AM

Hi all. In Google Analytics, I sometimes like to look at Network Location for the types of companies that are visiting my sites. There are sometimes records that show that a company has visited the site but has spent no time on the site. It shows up as follows:

Network Location Visits Page/Visits Avg Time on Site
ABC Company 1 1.00 00:00:00

How can someone visit your site and spend "00:00:00" time on it? Doesn't make sense. Does anyone know what this means?

#2 MaKa

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 11:07 AM

If a visitor only sees one page, there is no way for Google Analytics to tell how long they looked at the page. Time on site can only be determined for visitors who visit 2 or more pages.

#3 Randy

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 11:10 AM

The answer lies in how they calculate Time On Site.

The thing to remember is that this particular metric in GoAn is driven by when someone clicks from one page to another on your site. Or to put it another way, there's not an actual stop watch registering the time someone spends on a given page. It's just a database entry that says Visitor XYZ arrived at PageABC.html at 01:52:25 on November 24th, 2009. Then the next entry (if they clicked through to another page) Visitor XYZ arrived at PageMNO.html at 01:55:02 on November 24th, 2009. GoAn then makes a bit of an assumption that a click occurred.

So those 00:00:00 stats get reported if someone visits one and only one page of your site. Because there was never a second page visit to trigger the timing mechanism of Time On Site.

#4 Hans G.

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 12:24 PM

Okay, so if I understand you correctly, an Avg Time on Site of 00:00:00, with a Visits/Page of 1 could mean that the visitor spent 5 seconds, or 5 minutes, or even more?

#5 Randy

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 12:30 PM

Yup. In those 1 page visits GoAn cannot tell you how many seconds or days the person spent on the page in question.

#6 Hans G.

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 01:43 PM

Okay, thank you for this information. I was always curious about this!

H

#7 Michael Martinez

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 02:35 PM

Actually, NO analytics program can tell you how long someone stayed on site for a 1-page visit. I often like to beat up on Google Analytics about things but that is not a weakness peculiar to them. All analytics programs have the same limitation.


#8 Randy

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 02:48 PM

True Micheal. Though some analytics programs are better with javascript enabled visitors. With those the JS will make a brief call back home as long as the browser is open to record a timestamp. It just always seemed odd to me that GoAn didn't go the other route since their system only works if JS is in fact enabled.

FTR, neither is better than the other in my opinion. Both are prone to reporting false data, especially in this age where so many people use browser tabs where a page may be open for a very long time even though nobody is actually looking at it. It is however important to understand what's really happening in the background to produce the data.

#9 chrishirst

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 06:52 AM

QUOTE
With those the JS will make a brief call back home as long as the browser is open to record a timestamp. It just always seemed odd to me that GoAn didn't go the other route since their system only works if JS is in fact enabled.

It's probably the problems associated with making the XMLHTTP object "reusable" in IE




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