Google Analytics is huge and has many features. However, much like all other online software, it has bugs that can occasionally provide users with misleading data.
We noticed this back in 2017 while collecting data through a multiple filtering project.
The data we collected showed traffic metrics for 2029, which of course at the time should not be impossible. This gave us the incentive to create a blog post about it.
Our earlier blog post – Is Google Analytics Predicting Traffic in 2029? – details different sections of Google analytics that help to demonstrate this bug in action.
Note – This blog was published back in 2017 on another website. This website no longer exists but the information is still relevant, so we have decided to publish it on our page here for your reference.
In the SEO niche, an eye for detail is crucial and allows us to pick up on any technical issues on a website. Naturally, this is something we do when using any piece of software.
Testing is a part of the many skills that we have developed over many years of doing SEO.
In the first blog post, we identified the bug in many areas of Google analytics. In this updated post, we will keep it simple and provide information so that anyone can reproduce the long-lasting bug.
That’s enough said about our old blog post and testing. Let’s look at our updated findings in 2020 and explain how Google is now showing data for 2033.
In the screenshot below, you will notice that dates ranges are valid. However, the traffic metrics show data for past 2033.
This is evidence of the same bug that we found and reported back in 2017, however here it is shown with different dates filtered.
Also, the same data is copied across from the normal results in blue and the comparative data in orange.
If undetected, this could have a big impact on the outcome of your reports and the decisions made within your business.
Step 1: The date range used in our example is (Nov 5, 2018 – Jul 5, 2020). This returns the report below, which is valid data.
Step 2: We then set the compare range traffic date to (Nov 1, 2005 – Jul 5, 2020)
Applying this data range returns traffic from 2033. This can be seen by looking at the screenshot below.
Note – There is a difference here in the bug from our report back in 2017. Before, we needed to add years and days to compare dates.
Even if we look at different data in the audience overview section, the reports show incorrect data.
In the screenshot below, you will see the Acquisition Overview report. We decided to filter the dates well into the future to see what results we would get.
The dates we went for were (Nov 5, 2018 – Jul 5, 7777) – (Nov 1, 2005 – Jul 5, 9999).
The report returned some data and also the dates that were well into the future. This is the same bug identified here again.
This Google analytics bug is still there, even after we noticed it more than three years ago. Now, there are a few ways to reproduce the bug by using different date ranges.
The only difference in the bug is that you can reproduce it without setting any day or year in the future on the compare date.
We have created this blog post and the previous one to provide all the information Google needs to resolve it.
You can view our previous blog post here – Is Google Analytics Predicting Traffic in 2029? – to see how Google can fix this bug.