Since this question is about site analytics which is not accessible to everyone I have tried to omit any sensitive information. Please tell me if I have included anything I should not have.

I was looking at the site analytics for the programming puzzles and code golf Stack Exchange and I noticed something strange. Several, (between 10 and 15) of the referring sites are listed as having 247 visits. Since that is most of the sites listed this seems very strange to me. It hardly seems possible that this is happening purely by coincidence.

Why is the number 247 so common in the site analytics? Is it an artifact of the way scores are calculated? Is it just a coincidence?

  • 1
    Site analytics contains no sensitive information, it's just a bonus for high rep users, not a moderation privilege. You can share data and screenshots without any fear. Aug 5 '17 at 19:15
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    @Sha I agree, but the help does say "Since this is a restricted privilege, we'd prefer you not share the raw data." Mods do have slightly better analytics too (with a notice saying "analytics data is intended for moderators only; please don't share the specifics of this data in public")
    – Cai
    Aug 5 '17 at 21:15
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    Does this answer your question? This is linked from the privilege page regarding site analytics as to the cause of this: Analytics search keywords are unreliable. While analytics were mod-only at the time it was posted, the same engine is used to power the 25k+ version. Apr 18 '20 at 11:33
  • Does this answer your question? Strange results in search keywords analytics, and Q&A.
    – Rob
    Apr 18 '20 at 12:11

The traffic sources are based on data from Google Analytics. The data is sampled, so only a small fraction of the traffic is analyzed, and the results are extrapolated to the full amount of traffic.

That's the reason you often see identical values, especially on the smaller sites. In reality, Google Analytics only saw one or two requests from that source, but as it only sampled a small fraction of the total traffic, it extrapolated that e.g. 1 sampled request equals 247 real ones.

This is mostly an issue because the Google Analytics account is for all of the Stack Exchange network (or per domain; I don't actually know that for sure). So the sampling is based on the amount of traffic of the whole network, which makes the analysis rather inaccurate for very small sites.

  • 1
    Is the sampling based on the traffic of the whole network? That doesn't make much sense to me
    – Cai
    Aug 5 '17 at 21:18

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