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Dig into Readers data - what can we find out about the ways that pageviews are down?
Closed, ResolvedPublicAug 8 2019


Approach: Review pageviews broken down by the following:

  • platform differences (desktop vs mobile web)
  • location (country and continent)
  • project
  • referrers
  • os/browser
  • weekend vs weekday changes


Due Date
Aug 8 2019, 1:00 AM

Event Timeline

kzimmerman triaged this task as High priority.Aug 6 2019, 4:57 PM
kzimmerman created this task.
kzimmerman set Due Date to Aug 8 2019, 1:00 AM.
Restricted Application changed the subtype of this task from "Task" to "Deadline". · View Herald TranscriptAug 6 2019, 4:58 PM
kzimmerman moved this task from Triage to Next Up on the Product-Analytics board.Aug 6 2019, 7:14 PM
MNeisler moved this task from Next Up to Doing on the Product-Analytics board.Aug 6 2019, 8:19 PM
MNeisler added a comment.EditedAug 8 2019, 2:21 PM

Here is a current summary of findings after looking into this the past couple days:

  • Platform: Consistent with previous months, there is a yoy decline in pageviews on desktop but a yoy increase in pageviews on mobile web. In June 2019, desktop pageviews declined YoY -11.9% while mobile web pageviews increased yoy by +7.8%.
  • Country: There were high yoy pageview declines in China, Angola and Sudan on desktop. China has been blocked on all Wikipedias since April 2019, which has resulted in a drop in desktop pageviews since that date and a significant yoy decrease in China for June 2019 (-78%). There was a 74M year over year pageview drop in China across all Wikimedia projects on desktop in June 2019. This represents about a little over 1% yoy decrease in all desktop Wikimedia traffic in June.

  • Continent: All continents saw YoY declines in desktop pageviews ranging from -8% (Oceania) to -24% (Africa). YoY declines were not strongly isolated to one individual continent.
  • Project: I reviewed the top projects that accounted for the largest portion of Wikimedia traffic in June. There were YoY decreases for all projects except Commons Wikimedia, which has a very slight YoY increase of +0.3%. Note that Wikimedia Commons has not been reported as blocked by China, which may be an indication that the block is attributing to a portion in yoy decline seen on the other language Wikipedias.

  • Referers: There was a yoy decline across all referer class types ranging from -9.0% (internal refererrs) to -16.5%(external referrers). There were no significant changes in desktop pageviews in June 2019 seen for any of the major external search engines.

Source: discovery wmflabs dashboard

  • Browser: There were YoY declines across all browser groups except Edge and Opera. IE had the highest yoy decline (-27.9%) in June 2019 but has not declined significantly in recent months.
  • Weekday vs Weekend Traffic: There was one additional weekend day in June 2019 compared to June 2018. Since there are historically fewer views on desktop on the weekends compared to weekdays, this might have also attributed to a small portion of the overall YoY decline on desktop seen last month.

To estimate the percent drop in pageviews from the additional weekend day, I multiplied the difference in the number of weekend days between June 18 and June 19 by the average June 2019 difference in weekend and weekday daily pageviews. The additional weekend day in June 2019 led to an estimated 46.9M pageview drop across all Wikimedia projects on desktop or about 0.7% decrease in all desktop Wikimedia traffic for June.

@kzimmerman - Let me know if you have any questions or would like to look into anything a little further.

MNeisler updated the task description. (Show Details)Aug 8 2019, 2:23 PM

Thank you Megan! I've shared this with Toby & CCed you.

kzimmerman closed this task as Resolved.Aug 8 2019, 5:19 PM