Am I crazy? Google analytics problem (or penalty)?

HoosierBuff

Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2013
Messages
290
Hi All,

I'm just looking for a sanity check here.

TL, DR: After a large traffic drop for an innocuous, white hat client, I have a hypothesis that GA was messed up, and overcounting then somehow corrected itself due to changes I made a on a site. Am I crazy, or filled with wishful thinking?

The long story:

I logged into my clients GA account recently and saw a huge drop in organic traffic. They are a really boring manufacturer tool dies, molds etc. They seemingly haven't done anything to garner a penalty.

So, there was a big drop in GA but:
- No change in clicks as reported by Webmaster Tools
- No manual action in WMT
- I track their rank monthly using 3rd party tools, and there were no changes
- No change in domains (no accidental shift from https or www/ non www)
- Screaming frog crawled the site with no issues
- They have a mobile friendly site

What I did find is that:
- Prior to the problem, Google WMT was reporting far less traffic than GA. Much more than normal - like 6-10x traffic in GA vs. WMT
- The plugin I was using for GA had the classic GA code in it. The plug in itself hadn't been updated in a year ( they have published no new updates)
- The volume was mostly on two pages, and really, prior to the crash, that volume seemed like an awful lot for those terms. (considerably more than similar products on the same site). There doesn't appear to any keyword anomalies - like somehow showing up for an ariana grande search.

I have a hypothesis that GA was messed up, and overcounting then somehow corrected itself or due to other updates I did at that time.

That hypothesis seems rather fortunate for an SEO to say to a client. Has anyone ever seen anything like this?
 

HoosierBuff

Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2013
Messages
290
ha ha ha ha ha.

So, it turns out, the client was running adwords (unbeknownst to me), and they are not set up right, and when they turned off the adwords. . .there went the traffic.

Oh, to have those hours back.
 

Scott Rawlins

Moderator
Joined
Nov 14, 2012
Messages
1,050
Gotta love clients that know just enough to be dangerous. :p I have them too. Drives me crazy sometimes.
 
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