Google modifies Analytics criteria

Google recently announced that it had altered criteria for user behavior in its Analytics program, Search Engine Watch reports.

Previously, Google used three benchmarks to define a new user session - or page visit - and what constitutes an end to these sessions. These included a more than 30 minute stretch of time between page views to distinguish between a single visit, when a user closes his or her browser and the "end of the day."

Google made changes because it believed that a session may not necessarily end because of a closed browser. A number of other issues - such as a browser crash, hitting alt-F4 by accident, closing a page because a boss is coming or simply performing other tasks while on a site - may have forced a session to be temporarily halted.

In addition, Google added one new measure - when a user leaves a site and then re-enters from a different source, it will count as a new session.

SEO Roundtable reported that the adjustment initially resulted in unexpected traffic changes, despite the fact that it should have only impacted "1 percent or less" of traffic reports.

The company has since rectified the situation.