It was a spring morning in 2012 when I pulled open Google Analytics for a client to run a regular report only to see the worst: Sales dropped off a cliff. Not to zero, but way down. “What happened?!” I went through acquisition reports and saw declines across the board: organic search sales, paid search sales, affiliate sales, referrals, everything that reliably produced sales was 20-30% lower with no explanation. I reported the findings to the client, who was understandably distraught. Nothing significant changed on their end in messaging. It’s like someone flipped a switch and POOF!
I spent hours looking through pageview reports, conversion variances, but no clear sign as to why everything was down across the board. Then it hit me:
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