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Why is Browsing Time on Sites different to Users

Last Updated: Oct 07, 2014 08:50PM PDT
If you look at the Users table this will show you the accurate time of how long that user has spent browsing the internet. If you then drilldown to the list of Sites visited by the user it is likely that the Browsing Time here will be much higher - this is due to sub-calls, and also multiple browser windows being open at the same time.

However, at the Users level the Browsing Time value represents the physical time in a day a user has spent on the internet as the date/time for all of their sites are grouped together into browsing sessions, regardless of how many sites were visited concurrently.

Unfortunately, from just reading the logs, there is no way for Vantage to determine which hits are sub-calls from the site the person actually clicked on. This level of interpretation is more of a human factor.
The Individual Records drilldown in Summaries will show you, in chronological order, all of the hits made by a user. From this you could determine which sites the user actually visited and which hits were sub-calls to other sites.

It's not unusual for the browsing time for a list of sites to be different to the total browsing time for the user that visited those sites. The reason for the difference is that you could have multiple sites open at the same time, or you may have visited some sites for less than 1 second.

This is one way this behavior could happen: if I go to www.webspy.com and browse that site from 12:00 to 12:05, then that would be 5 minutes browsing time for that session, and 5 minutes for www.webspy.com.

However, if at the same time I open a second browser window to www.cnn.com, and also browse on that site from 12:00 to 12:05, then in total my user and session browsing time would still be only 5 minutes, but the total browsing time for sites would be 10 minutes, as there is 5 minutes on www.webspy.com and 5 minutes on www.cnn.com.

Alternatively, if you visit www.webspy.com only at 12:00:01 and www.cnn.com at only 12:04:01, then the browsing time for www.webspy.com would be 0 seconds, and the browsing time for www.cnn.com would also be 0 seconds, however the browsing time for the user would be 4 minutes.

This is why browsing time for sites can be very different to browsing time for users and dates.

Browsing time for mail sites and search engines is handled exactly the same as browsing time for all other websites. If a site is left open for 4 hours with no activity it depends on whether that site is self-refreshing or static.

If the site automatically refreshes itself on a regular basis, like a sports results page or a stock ticker, then this causes the proxy server to download new hits from that site, e.g. every 90 seconds. In this case the browsing time will be as long as the site is left open, even if no one is at the computer.

If the site does not refresh itself then nothing will be added to the browsing time regardless of how long the site is open.

Adding Browsing Time to Reports in WebSpy Vantage

Browsing Time is not a default column that is displayed in Vantage. In order to view browsing time an aggregate that calculates sessions needs to be added to the report/s you intend on using.

To add Browsing Time:
  1. Open WebSpy Vantage
  2. Click on the Reports link on the home page or the Reports tab.
  3. Select a Template, edit Template.
  4. Select a node you wish to add browsing time reporting to (you may want this to be a node based on the Site Name summary for example).
  5. Edit the node.
  6. Make sure you are on the General page of the Template Node dialog.
  7. Select Add | Aggregate | Browsing Time | Total Browsing Time
  8. Click OK.
  9. Click OK on the Template Node dialog.

A Browsing Time column will now appear in the report for the node it was added to.   

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