Same number of unique visitors and visits on every day, with cookieless tracking

Hi, I’m running Matomo 4.12.0 on a new install from earlier this week.

I have checked the “Force tracking without cookies” on Admin: Privacy: Anonymize data, and also I have updated my tracking call with _paq.push([“disableCookies”]);.

When I visit a site where the tracker is installed, I can verify that no cookies are set.

I am aware that Matomo can not know if the visitor is unique since there are no cookies set, but instead relies on the config hash per

After using this setup for a few days, I notice in the Visitors overview report that the number of unique visitors is equal to the number of visits on every single day.
I think it seems far fetched to believe that during the course of one day, every single visitor only makes one visit (or uses another device for their second visit etc).

I changed the “Anonymize visitors IP addresses” from 2 bytes to 1 byte, but this did not make much difference.

My assumption before doing these tests were that the unique visitors metric in the reports would be significantly lower than the real value, because Matomo would not be able to differentiate between two browsers with the same attributes. But instead it seems that Matomo just determines that every single visit is made by a unique visitor.

Are my results what should be expected or is something wrong with my setup?

Oh. I found now the “window_look_back_for_visitor”.

Is anybody running with a big value?

Hi @sandin
Did you try to visit your website several times a day (with a delay at least 30 minutes between each visit in order to not stay in the same visit, and also same IP and browser) to see Matomo behavior?

I could verify in my log table that I hade visits with the same config_id, but with several hours apart, and I didn’t understand why those visits were attributed to different unique visitors.
I have increased the “window_look_back_for_visitor” to 86400, and I am testing now.

I have a hard time understanding the logic of having the look_back at 30 minutes, since the “visit_standard_length” is also 30 minutes.
Is it only applicable on minute 30 of 30? On last friday I had 10102 visits from 10101 unique visitors, and the time passed between the log_visits where the config_id matched was like exactly 30 minutes.

Pobably the window_look_back_for_visitor should be at least equal to visit_standard_length in order to be able to identify the same user at least for his whole visit…

Were these visits on a single day period?

Yes. But this was when I did not override the window_look_back_for_visitor.
I have now 86400 and am testing to see my results, but I have an increasing amout of returning visitors every day now. I assume that it will flatten out unless I set an even bigger value than 86400.

But in regards to the “unique visitor” metric, I am not entirely sure how the window_look_back_for_visitor value affects it. I assume it is constrained to the specific report I am viewing. For instance, if I am viewing the report for a single day, I get the number of unique visitors that made a visit on that day.

I plan to set my window_look_back_for_visitor to 1 week, and I expect to be able to get the number of unique visitors over the whole week (when viewing a weekly report).

It depends on users behaviors. If they usually visit your website twice a day, then it 86400 should be sufficient, but if it is only once a day it wouldn’t… (and think also about weekends, where users behaviors can also be different)
Also, if I don’t do mistake, the visitor ID is built with some salt that change every one or two days… Then if visitor comes every day on the same computer/browser/IP, after some time, he shouldn’t be considered as the same returning user…
I let you experiment and share your research results :wink:

No… I’m not satisfied yet. I yesterday increased my window_look_back_for_visitor to one week.

My daily reports looks like this

date, visits, unique visitors
2022-10-24 12992, 9453
2022-10-25 5780, 5189 (partial)

Weekly report of this week (incomplete)

visits, unique visitors
18772, 14642

As you can see, my weekly report is just the daily visits ackumulated, This is ok.
But it’s not okay for unique users. There’s simply not no overlap.

My config has the default enable_processing_unique_visitors_week = 1.
Does it only use visitor id? I’m running cookieless so I can only rely on config_id (which I know may not be 100% correct).

This is from my matomo_log_visit table. I can see that the browser with this config_id has made a visit on 2022-10-25 and on 2022-10-26. Also the idvisitor value exists and that is also unique.
I would have hoped that when generating the summary for 'week" that this config_id/idvisitor would count as 1 unique but it seems it is counted as 2.

Not sure what my problem is here. I have disabled cookies and increased the window_look_back_for_visitor to 604800. I’m running queued tracking every minute, and I generate archive every hour.

Haha damn it, I went back to the start of this thread and revisited all the faq’s I read.

According to this faq, the config_id is rotated after 24h. And this is not configurable I assume.

So there is really no point in using a larger value than 86400 in window_look_back_for_visitor, right?
I will only be able to use the unique visitors metric on the daily reports, and the unique visitors for week will be the same as the days ackumulated.

Is this a correct statement?

This is also my understanding…

I should have read your replies more carefully, but I conflated the visitor ID and config ID.

I still think it should be possible to set the period of config_id regeneration according to preference, and not have it hard coded to 24h.

For any feature request: