I encountered this message at the Chinese and Math analytics pages and don't know what it means:

screenshot of message at math.SE

Effective May 10th 2022, the traffic data in this chart is outdated.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]

Question: What does "the traffic data in this chart is outdated" mean on the site analytics pages?

  • 7
    The May 2022 date is when the Google Analytics cookie was moved from a strictly necessary cookie to a performance cookie, so people who decline those cookies (or don't do anything with the dialog) will not have their traffic counted. See meta.stackexchange.com/questions/378444/… Commented Jul 27, 2023 at 3:27
  • 10
    There's been a lot of kerfuffle over traffic data lately on other (non-SE) sites, where people have taken the last ~3 years of SO data, showing a decline, including the massive drop in May 2022 caused by cookie changes, and blamed it on either 1) AI or 2) "toxic mods" or 3) both. It's wildly out of control at this point.
    – Laurel
    Commented Jul 27, 2023 at 3:56
  • 2
    What's unclear about the message? "traffic data", "chart" and "outdated" would appear to have their ordinary English meanings. "This chart" presumably refers to the one labelled "Traffic", which shows traffic data. If the question is "Why is the data outdated", or "what is the reasoning for warning about the data past that point", then ask that. Commented Jul 27, 2023 at 7:38
  • 3
  • 2
    It was very confusing for me to read. Among the multiple possible interpretations I reached was: all the data was discovered to be "outdated", rendering analyses from May 2022 onwards invalid. Usually if X is outdated, something older than X is also outdated. It's not clear what the consequences of this post are. It's not clear what's being fixed. And all this combined with Stack Overflow appearing in the news, and Stack Exchange's habit of using indirect language, it's just not easy to parse. Commented Jul 27, 2023 at 11:41
  • Anyway, I don't want to waste everyone's time splitting hairs about nuances of words. I just want to know what it means. Commented Jul 27, 2023 at 11:43
  • 8
    @KarlKnechtel, a better wording of the message would be "On May 10, 2022, the method of tracking traffic changed. Data from after that date is less reliable."
    – Mark
    Commented Jul 27, 2023 at 19:04
  • Some detail here also: stackoverflow.blog/2023/08/08/… Commented Aug 9, 2023 at 0:03


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