Ever get a huge spike in visits...but have no clue why?

Kara Vanilla Ice Cream
edited April 17 in Managing Communities #1

Over the weekend, my community had a big ol' spike in guest visits (guests=people not logged in) on a SUNDAY of all days. The average for the week was 200-300 guest visits each day, then on Sunday - boom! - nearly 3,000 guest visits.

There were no social media posts, newsletters or other marketing efforts that day. Perhaps a press release was picked up, or another source picked up something about the community. I have no clue what it was though!

Are there any Vanilla analytics you use to identify the instigator for spikes in activity? Are there any other cool internet tools you'd recommend to help identify the source of this spike?




  • PiperWilson
    PiperWilson HLV Staff

    @annayardley - Can you help?

  • Rav Singh
    Rav Singh Vanilla Ice Cream

    Funnily enough I had a somewhat similar conversation recently. I've noticed there is a discussion created back in 2016 which is ranking in the top 5 most viewed discussions consistently every month eg. 750 page views last month alone

    All views are from guests.

    The odd thing is it's a very particular discussion with a very specific title & content. I checked in with our support team just to see if we received any cases or reports around it but they hadn't heard of it so it's a bit of a mystery why it's proving so popular 🤔

  • Genevieve P
    Genevieve P Vanilla Ice Cream

    Is it possible that this one post is suddenly being surfaced in Google or another search tool?

    We consistently see SUPER old posts in our top-viewed posts list... because they appear in Google when searching for the forum.

  • Kara
    Kara Vanilla Ice Cream

    @Rav Singh and @Genevieve P - Thanks for your replies! Unfortunately in the analytics I can't determine what the guests were viewing. There were not discussions in most-viewed discussions with any more views than our average for the week. Just a ton of guests visits, on a Sunday, looking at something for some reason!

  • PiperWilson
    PiperWilson HLV Staff

    @Kara - Swinging back around to this, I did some digging and found this quote from a ticket with a former customer of mine who experienced the same thing you're describing.

    Typically, the reason for a spike in search analytics is due to web crawlers. These crawlers hit sites they can see, click every link a bunch of times, and then move on.

    That ticket also included a link to this article - Why is my analytics data inflated?

    I hope this helps.

  • Shauna
    Shauna HLV Staff

    @Kara @Rav Singh @Genevieve P

    A little birdie told me this is going to be covered in the upcoming analytics sessions... hope you can make it or check out one of the recordings :)

  • Adam
    Adam HLV Staff

    We have something planned in our current quarter's roadmap to help with this. It is meant to go along with Email Digest but should be helpful in such a situation.

    In short, we'll be adding a source to the page view data indicating if the page view came from a specifically tagged place (like an email digest, marketing material, external domain, or a page internal in the community).

  • Kara
    Kara Vanilla Ice Cream

    Looking forward to the webinars on this! I read the resource Piper shared above, but the API part makes absolutely no sense to me!