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Google Analytics introduces “Major Contributors”: find out what is causing traffic changes

Estimated reading time: 1 minute, 23 seconds

Google Analytics for many is a highly underestimated tool. My guess is that still the major part of the Analytics users ‘only’ looks at the incoming traffic numbers. How many visitors did we get yesterday? The question “where did they come from” even is too much information for some.

Luckily there are others who do understand the full potential of the free analytics tool and use all the features Google is giving us. And those users will be happy with the latest change Google made to Analytics: “Major Contributors“.

“Major Contributors” lets you see a break down of the individual segments that are the most likely instigators of traffic changes. That means if you see a major change in traffic, mostly a spike, to a specific page, and you have an alert set up you can now see the actual cause of that spike. Is it a webpage with a link on it, is it a newsletter, Google will display up to 5 segments that have contributed to the change.

This feature will save analytics experts a lot of work when trying to figure out where traffic changes are coming from. So this is a nice change by Google.

To be able to use it you need to set up custom alerts in your account.

Will Critchlow, Analytics expert at Distilled feels this could potentially be a great change:

“If this works, it’s a feature I’ve been waiting for. I had hoped that Google’s investments in machine learning were going to make it into analytics in a more usable way. The intelligence functionality hasn’t proved useful for me yet, but I think this feature could tip the balance.”

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Bas van den Beld is a speaker, trainer and online marketing strategist. Bas is the founder of Stateofdigital.com. -- You can hire Bas to speak, train or consult.