What does it mean if my website got 6 new unique users in Santa Clara
January 19, 2020 12:55 PM   Subscribe

I'm working on my little portfolio website and just added a bunch of new content and Google Analytics. Google Analytics says I had 6 new unique visitors today who all spent less than a second on the site. I know these are probably not humans right? Then who are they?

I have a filter set up so that my own traffic isn't included, and I never test the site by visiting the domain name.
For many days before that I had 0 visitors (that's fine).
But why were they all coming from Santa Clara, CA? Does that mean it was a Google bot/spider?
Then why do they all have different demographics profiles?
What does it all mean?
posted by bleep to Technology (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't know the answer to your question, but I can tell you that a google bot/spider would not be coming from Santa Clara, but from a google datacenter located elsewhere (I used to be a google SRE for the team running google's web crawler a few years ago.)
posted by smcameron at 1:09 PM on January 19 [3 favorites]

Lots of random startups in Santa Clara, so my guess is it's some small tech company experimenting with web crawling. Unless you have more info no way to know
posted by JZig at 1:12 PM on January 19 [3 favorites]

Maybe someone posted a link to your site on their friends group, and a couple people thought "hmm what's this?", clicked, went "oh, it's not a funny cat pic, it's just someone's portfolio" and clicked off.
posted by Pastor of Muppets at 1:14 PM on January 19 [2 favorites]

OK, I was misreading the "Demographic reports" as being real when they were just a sample. Definitely bots, and the information about Santa Clara was helpful. Thank you!
posted by bleep at 1:14 PM on January 19

Lots of web traffic is automated these days. It could be the link in your browser or email being pre-fetched by your mail server in order to check that it's not harboring malware. It could be a bot going to every single Google Analytics identifier (basically spam via indirect means) but those usually have obvious indicators. Datacenters are all over the place, and IP geolocation doesn't mean a whole lot because the requests aren't coming directly from a person.

It could also be a real person with all their ad blocking/tracking stuff turned on, in which case the dwell time would be inaccurate.
posted by meowzilla at 2:07 PM on January 19 [3 favorites]

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