Google Analytics Fixed 300% Increase in Time Spent on Site Reporting

Last month, I noticed a 300% increase in average Time Spent on Site as reported by Google Analytics. Apparently, Google changed how they reported Time Spent on Site. After some digging and helpful comments from users on this blog, it looks like Google no longer included visitors who bounced in their length-of-stay measurement. Google even retroactively updated reports from previous months as well and many users reported a significant increase in the length-of-time visitors stayed on their website. Looks like Google might have dropped this new method of measuring and reverted back to their original formula.

When Google made the original change in reporting they should have made a formal announcement. Now that they have reverted back to the former method of reporting, an announcement to their users would have been helpful in explaining the sudden increase and decrease in times spent on site over the past few months.

As of today, Google Analytics is reporting times more indicative from before they dropped bounced users. Anyone else seeing this as well?

Ian Lee
Work from home dad, marketer and photographer. Fallen in love with basketball all over again as I coach my daughter's team.

12 thoughts on “Google Analytics Fixed 300% Increase in Time Spent on Site Reporting”

  1. Hi,
    I haven’t notice anything weird with the time spent on my site but also I don’t check the stats very often. And btw, when does Google announce anything??

  2. John, if you did not check Time Spent on Site during the months that Google made the change, you won’t notice anything different now as things are back to normal.

  3. Doh! Where’s my 8 min average time?

    Well I’m glad they went back to normal. It just doesn’t make sense when they excluded the bounces.

  4. I think they should keep the bounce rate separate. If an untargeted visitor pops onto your site and figures out “oops wrong site” and leaves, that should go into account of how long “real” visitors stay.

  5. I really question the amount of time that show up in my Analytics stats. It seems way to long, especially when StumbleUpon users are supposedly staying at my pages for an average of several minutes. So I don’t put much weight into this stat.

  6. I wonder what google analytics is all about until I have read your blog. I have been hearing from it so often but I find no time to checked it out. Does it have great effects in our site and blogs?.

  7. Have you seen what is happening lately? The past couple days the search advancement segment in Google Analytics has been acting very weird, showing more traffic than total visits. I’m trying to find more info on it.

  8. Hmm, I agree with Sleep Bruxism… I have been seeing a lot of strange data recently as well… anyone else seeing this problem lately?


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