It looks like Google is not the only one having issues with declining stats in their analytics program. Bing seems to also be suffering something similar. According to the webmaster community, it seems that there has been a steep decline in the organic visits they are seeing coming from Bing Search.
It was first believed that the decline has something to do with a Bing search algorithm update, but after doing some snooping around by Search Engine Land, it had to do with Google Analytics tools not trucking being organic traffic at search traffic. Instead, that search traffic was being seen as referral traffic.
Barry Schwartz went through the trouble of analyzing dozens of sites within Google analytics I noticed something interesting. There seemed to be a pattern, about 20% declines in Bing search organic traffic. Along with the drop in search organic traffic, there was a huge 200% or so increase in being referral traffic to the sites.
There are four large site profiles I checked, showing week-over-week changes with organic and referral Bing traffic:
- Organic Bing Traffic Down 20%, But Bing Referral Traffic Up 350%
- Organic Bing Traffic Down 5%, But Bing Referral Traffic Up 145%
- Organic Bing Traffic Down 10%, But Bing Referral Traffic Up 265%
- Organic Bing Traffic Down 22%, But Bing Referral Traffic Up 230%
Both Google and Microsoft was contacted yesterday; both are still investigating the issue.
Chances are, it could be Bing sending over the referee. The possibility is, it could be something has changed with that, which in turn is confusing Google analytics and other tracking tools.