Hi from Germany! First of all let me congratulate the Piwik team. This is an outstanding tool that you have created and it exactly matches my requirements. Thank you very much!
However, I have a problem with apperantly wrong vistor logs. Unlike other Piwik users, I don’t have missing vistors, I have too many counted. I definitely see ghost vistors, but in the FAQ and forum I haven’t found anything related. But let me start from the beginning.
I am webmaster of a web site for some non-profit organisation. We use Joomla 2.5.8 on a Strato web server. There are no appearant problems.
I have installed Piwik 1.9.2 on December 27th. Everything worked fine, Piwik is just great. Upgrading to Piwik 1.10 on January 15th and Piwik 1.10.1 on January 17th including database update was flawless. I noticed that for a few minutes I had no past data (zero vistors for the days before) in the reports, but that went away without my action. I see visits, I get statistics and reports: everything seems okay.
Now what happened later is that I noticed strange visits in the statistics: one of my own visits appears again and again, so I am counted multiple times. I know that the data is wrong, because I did some tests with an unusual browser combination and unusual IP, tracking some pages that were not open for the public. Thus, this visit stands out from the rest. This visit with 11 page views was tracked fine on January 14th (so with Piwik 1.9.2). Meanwhile I see this individual combination eight times (and counting) in the logs of Piwik 1.10.1. It is exactly the same IP, browser and plugins. The intervals between the visits range from two hours to two days. It is 11 page views per visit, but not in the same order, so the duration of the visit varies slightly. I am 100% positive that these visits (except the first one) didn’t happen. Usually, I use the ignore-me cookie, but in this test I didn’t.
So I am sure that something is wrong with my database. I don’t know whether I just have to ignore these ghost visits to get the real picture, or whether the matter is a bit more complex and real vistors are connected to old actions, which would distort the statistics.
So I ask myself (and you, if anybody would be so kind to help):
- What could have gone wrong? A mistake in the database update? A bug in the core (unlikely, but never impossible)? User mistake (more likely, but what could I have done)?
- Is there any kind of check that I could run on the tables linkvisit_action, log_action, and log_visit (these tables are filled with reasonable data) to check the consistency?
- Is the duplication limited to one visit, or is there the risk that other visits are affected, too? How can I check?
- Is there anything that I can do to repair it, so that the visit is no longer duplicated?
- How can I get rid of the ghost visit data in the database?
The cleanest solution is a deinstallation and reinstallation of Piwik, so that the previous data of the past three weeks is deleted. I wouldn’t mind the loss of data, when I am sure that I can rely on the statistics afterwards. However, I prefer to understand the problem, so that I might avoid similar trouble in the future. Even better if I can keep the data.
Any thoughts? Advice is appreciated.