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Can Someone Interpret This To Me?


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#1 T.N

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 08:38 AM

Hi, Can someone interpret this to me??

how come that first visit less than in 0 days?? and not equal to same day??





#2 Randy

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 11:11 AM

My interpretation is that Google Analytics use some really messed up language in their Recency Reports. lol.gif

Where to start ... First, even though it clearly says "visits" in the title and column headers the data has nothing to do with visits. It has to do with Visitors and their unique sessions and when those occurred.

Second, the word ago should not be in there at all. It's not about 1 day ago or 2 days ago or 20 days ago. Because a lot of it didn't happen 1 day ago or 2 days ago or 20 days ago. It happened 1 day previously to the next unique visit. And it's all tied to whatever date range you're looking at.

This is a hard one to wrap your head around because of the very bad wording being used. So a quick example. Let's say there were two unique visitors that got your GoAn Cookie (the _utma cookie, which is explained here if you're interested in that sort of thing.)

Both unique visitors had a lot in common. In that they visited your site two times, producing two unique sessions. They also both had the 2nd unique sessions before 24 hours had passed from their first visit. Everything is identical, except that one of these people first visited on April 2nd and the other person first visited on April 24th. Guess what. They'll both still appear in the 0 days ago stats, even though neither visit happened 0 days ago with today being May 1st.

Mentally wipe out the word Ago from that stats page. Replace it with Previously. And remember that it's not about Visits, it's about Unique Sessions.

Or, remember it this way: Recency is about Unique Sessions that get started when someone visits your site. It is not about Visits and it's certainly not about Visitors. Because the same Visitor can produce multiple unique session that end up in different columns if they produce multiple Unique Sessions.

That one just sounds confusing no matter how one tries to explain it. And in truth there's no easy way to explain it without use of a lot of graphs. The easiest way to get a mental grasp on this concept of Unique Sessions and how they show up in the Recency stats is to simply point out that a single person who visits the same site 20 times in a month is going to show up 20 times in your Recency data. Typically some in one row, some in another and some in others, depending upon when their last previous visit occurred in relation to their current visit.

And this: Recency stats looks only at the time (in seconds) between each Unique Session from the same person using the same computer that accepts the _utma cookie. Thus, any time the time between these Unique Sessions is less than 24 hours, it will show up in the 0 Days Ago data.

Okay, now that you're likely throughly confused and your head is swimming let's get to your real question. What the hell does less than Zero Days mean?

Well, it can be caused by a few things. But the most likely cause is a clock being reset on a computer. This clock reset affects the timestamp that gets set in the cookie. FTR, it is more likely that you'll see the <0 days ago notation show up in the fall when people's computers are getting changed from daylight savings time --or Summer Time in parts of the world-- if you happen to have someone visit your site, close their browser, then start a new session by visiting your site again before an hour has passed.

It is safe, and probably best, to simply ignore that one as an anomoly. Someone reset their clock/calendar and them doing so threw some funny data into your Recency stats.

#3 T.N

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 10:21 AM

Thanks Randy for your reply,

and sorry for being late to see this amazing reply, but you know life happy.gif

just want to ask another question, what is the difference between same day and <0 day ago??

still confused a bit little, but in general I got what u said.

Thanks,





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