Google Instant Previews
Google Instant Preview feature was launched to show the graphical view of a web page in Google’s search results, before you click on the search result and be taken to the web page.
Google Analytics Over-reports Visits, Pageviews
Google Instant Previews cause Google Analytics to over-report visit and pageview data to your sites:
- A user searches on Google and your web page appears in Google’s SERP
- The user hovers the Preview icon next to your site’s search results and Google Instant Preview displays a graphical view of your web page
- Google Analytics records the visit and pageview
Discussions on Webmaster World forum and Google Analytics forum have confirmed the visit and pageview inflation was caused by Google Instant Previews:
- Search Engine Spider and User Agent Identification – This Webmaster World Forum topic explains Google Web Preview bot not following instructions in Robots.txt and causing violations when visiting webmasters’ sites.
- Google Instant Previews are being tracked as pageviews in GA – A topic on the Official Google Analytics forum says the graphical views of your site’s pages through Google’s Instant Preview feature are reported as pageviews in Google Analytics.
Google Analytics Over-reporting Fixed
Google Analytics is not over-reporting visit and pageview data triggered by Google Instant Previews as the technical issue was fixed. However, Google Analytics would not reprocess your historical, over-reported visits and pageviews.