If pages of your site make use of auto-refresh or you plan to implement an auto-reload function for pages of your website, you may notice the following effects to your audience data in our Real-time and Historical traffic measurement tools:
- Increase in site-wide Concurrents
- Increase in Internal pageviews
- Increase in Internal traffic (concurrents)
- Decrease in Direct traffic (concurrents)
- Decrease in site-wide Average Engaged Time
- Decreased visitor Scroll Depth
Increase in site-wide Concurrents, Internal concurrents, and Internal pageviews: Concurrents may increase due to idle (non-engaged) visitors being counted as active concurrents in Chartbeat as their open page to your site is continuously reloaded, which also registers additional Internal pageviews for each instance of auto-refresh.
Increase in Internal traffic and a decrease in Direct traffic: When auto-refresh is added to a Chartbeat tracked site, it's common to see an increase in Internal concurrents with a corresponding decrease in Direct traffic (along with other traffic sources) in our Real-time concurrents graph. Homepages frequently receive significant direct traffic from desktop users, and with auto-refresh enabled, our tracking script registers additional unique pageviews for those users with every auto-reload instance of your page, and we immediately begin tracking those sessions as internally referred since the referring page is your own site.
Decrease in Average Engaged Time and visitor Scroll Depth: When a non-engaged visitor with an idle browser tab open to your site experiences continuous auto-reloads for that page, Chartbeat registers each reload as a unique pageview with zero engagement accrued and zero pixels scrolled. When this happens for many visitors on your site at once, all of those pageviews with zero engagement can bring down your site's Average Engaged Time and Average Scroll numbers in Chartbeat.
Disabling auto-refresh on your site may cause the opposite effects to your Chartbeat data as described in this article.