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One of the effects of the recategorization of Google Analytics cookie as a “Performance Cookie” was the apparent drop in visitor numbers in the 25k and mod analytics tools.

screenshot showing drop in traffic after May

This seems to cause some confusion in the short term, and I've seen questions around asking about it.

I wonder if there's value in sticking a little note, like "Traffic after May 10 2022 may be affected by the recategorization of Google Analytics cookies as optional" on the page itself. Not everyone's going to remember, and it feels like a logical place for someone to find this information.

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TL;DR; We have removed Universal Analytics data throughout our sites because of the inaccuracy and eventual lack of support from Google.

A few weeks ago, we added this banner to /site-analytics and /admin/analytics about traffic data:

25k user analytics page on Stack Overflow with banner at the top in blue that reads "Effective May 10th 2022, the traffic data in this chart is outdated. We are working to resolve the issue. [This update was posted on July 26, 2023]" above graphs showing posts and votes per day for a period of time.

We wanted to provide clarification and next steps about this banner. In the coming weeks, we are planning to remove data points that are pulling directly from Universal Analytics because these data points will shortly be unsupported.

The changes here are as follows:

  • Remove the banner from the /site-analytics, /site-analytics/traffic-sources, and /admin/analytics pages
  • Remove the following data points from pages that include data from Universal Analytics (/site-analytics, /site-analytics/traffic-sources, /admin/analytics, and stackexchange.com/sites#traffic):
    • Traffic
    • Visits/day
    • Number of new visits
    • Traffic sources
    • Referring sites
    • Search engines
    • Search keywords

While the traffic data on the Stack Exchange sites list is visible to everyone, most of the above data is only available to users with the "access to site analytics" privilege or site moderators. While we’re not immediately upgrading these data points at this time, we’ll be working with moderators to better understand what data has provided value and why in order to inform if and where it should be prioritized on the roadmap.

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  • "most of this data is only available to" what exactly is the "this" being referred to there? Sep 12, 2023 at 19:46
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    @starball I'm referring to bulleted list. Visits/day is the only traffic related data point on the all sites page that is visible to all users.
    – Des StaffMod
    Sep 12, 2023 at 21:36
  • Where is the traffic data on the sites list?
    – Xanne
    Sep 13, 2023 at 1:57
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    @Xanne There's a column for "visits/day". That column would be removed if I'm understanding correctly.
    – Catija
    Sep 13, 2023 at 12:43

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