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August 2021 - what's in this newsletter?
Veridian’s Diary: Investigating an ‘explosion’ in
collection web traffic via Google Analytics
Learn: How to investigate hit spikes
in Google Analytics

Hello friend of Veridian,

This August we’re focusing on Google Analytics, looking at the steps involved in investigating a hit spike or sudden increase in digital collection traffic, and a particular instance of this with the Library of Virginia.
Veridian’s Diary: Investigating an ‘explosion’ in collection web traffic via Google Analytics
Veridian provides support for Google Analytics for many of the collections we help build, making it easy to track and report on how many visitors an online digital collection attracts. Many clients keep a close eye on the data, such as user sessions, and this is what led to the discovery of ‘The Explosion.’

The team at the Library of Virginia, whose collection houses over 1.7 million pages of Virginia and West Virginia newspapers, were completing a regular check-up when they discovered a massive spike in traffic to their collection last October. While they generally average between 350 and 750 sessions per day, one day (17 October 2020) registered almost 6,000 visits.

To uncover the reason behind this, Newspaper Project Director Errol Somay contacted our team to investigate. Read our full Diary article to find out what caused this hit spike, or check out Errol’s blog article.

Please note that the above image is not the actual gas explosion discussed in this article.

How to investigate hit spikes in Google Analytics
If you use the Google Analytics tool to understand how your audience engages with your digital collection, you may one day want to investigate any spikes in traffic that your collection experiences - like the Library of Virginia did.

We have put together three key steps to investigate hit spikes, including looking at the audience overview, reviewing traffic sources and looking at geographical data to identify any concentrations of traffic from particular locations (down to the city).

In our latest Knowledge Base article, we detail these steps then investigate two real-life hit spikes on elephind.com. Elephind is a historical newspaper search engine we created to make it possible to search a variety of online historic newspapers from one place.

Until next month, best wishes from the Veridian team
Stefan, Michael, Jeffrey, Andrew, Richard, Pei, Shane, Ryan and Wayne.


 
 
 
DL Consulting Ltd., Waikato Innovation Park, 9 Melody Ln, Hamilton East, Hamilton 3216, New Zealand
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