The analytics for the beta site I moderate (Lego Answers) provides unreliable search keywords. The first ten or so results are unique, but every search keyword after has 41 views, and there are hundreds of results with supposedly '41' views. Some of the referring sites also have 41 views.

Something doesn't seem right. I can understand each search keyword having one or two visits each.

See Also: Strange results in search keywords analytics

  • 3
    There's a lot of strange stuff happening with the search keywords, they're pretty unreliable in many aspects, see also meta.stackexchange.com/questions/92915/… . I noticed that they are much worse on a newer site than on a site that already exists for a while. Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 15:15
  • @Fabian: I get that too. Some of the search results look like they're part of another SE site, although they're in the minority.
    – Ambo100
    Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 16:16

1 Answer 1


Part of the reason is due to a sampling error; the data are taken in "samples" so some keywords are overemphasized and some are de-emphasized. The sampling also assumes a certain degree of uniform distribution; this means that you see a lot of "41 views" because the sampling percentage, when multiplied out to the whole, yielded 41 as the value. Or, at least, that's how it's been explained to me. Assuming the explanation I was given is correct, then the "bug" you're seeing is actually a statistical error revealing itself. However, as some have pointed out, as the site ages (read: the dataset gets larger) these errors will be minimized more efficiently.

Long story short: trust nothing! Remember the adage: There are lies, damned lies, and then there are statistics.

  • 11
    Re "There are lies, damned lies, and then there are statistics" is actually a reference to inaccurate interpretation of accurate data.
    – Pacerier
    Commented Feb 16, 2017 at 20:07

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