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Why Is Time On Site Different To Google Analytics'?

Modified on: Sun, 23 Jul, 2023

Unfortunately, Google Analytics' measurement of time on site does NOT take into account the last page viewed by a user. For example:


1. A user lands on your website and quickly sees a link to the content they are looking for and clicks on it (5 seconds).

2. The user visits the next page and spends 5 minutes reading it (5 minutes).

3. The user navigates away from your site by doing a new search in their browser.

Google Analytics would report the "Time On Site" as only being the time spent on the first page (maybe 5 seconds), even though the user spent more than 5 minutes on your site. Google, themselves, describe their tracking methodology here: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1006253?hl=en.

Ezoic measures time on site in 15 second intervals. So, in the above scenario, we would count both the time spent on the first page and the second. Therefore, the time on site would be 5 minutes and 5 seconds.



1. A user lands on your website and finds the page they landed on to be exactly what they are looking for. They spend 5 minutes reading it.

2. The user is done, and navigates away using the back button.

Google Analytics would report the duration of this visits as being 0 SECONDS! Ezoic tracks it as 5 minutes. 

A good explanation is available here: http://briancray.com/posts/time-on-site-bounce-rate-get-the-real-numbers-in-google-analytics

A comparison of Google Analytics methodology vs Clicky (which is the same as ours) is here: http://www.searchable.co.uk/clicky-vs-analytics-why-google-analytics-reporting-is-flawed/

Google details its own flawed approach here: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1006253?hl=en

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