Searches on Google bring less traffic on the weekends? – I wondered, so I tested…

Searches on Google bring less traffic on the weekends? – I wondered, so I tested…

After many years of using Google Analytics I have noticed a general trend that there is often a “weekend dip” in Google traffic to any website. With some websites (especially business to business websites) it is glaringly obvious that people search less in Google on the weekends. Other sites are not so obvious with a more irregular, random display of numbers for the weekdays vs the weekends.

Below are screen shots from 7 different websites. Each one is displaying the month of March, 2011, Google Search Traffic and only “new visitors”. If you would like to compare your site to these, simply go to your Google Analytics and put in the same metrics.

1) Below is the Google search data for a health related website who had an average of 863 visits per day during the week and an average of 974 visits per day during the weekend. This equates to a 12.9% increase for weekend traffic.

google-traffic

2) Below is the Google search data for another health related website who had an average of 11 visits per day during the week and an average of 9 visits per day during the weekend. This equates to a 18.3% decrease for weekend traffic.

hand-yoga-google-traffic

3) Below is the Google search data for a university website who had an average of 420 visits per day during the week and an average of 320 visits per day during the weekend. This equates to a 31.5% decrease for weekend traffic.

google-traffic

4) Below is the Google search data for a social media related website who had an average of 19 visits per day during the week and an average of 23 visits per day during the weekend. This equates to a 26.5% increase for weekend traffic.

galaxy-ninja-google-traffic

5) Below is the Google search data for a business to business website who had an average of 29 search visits per day during the week and an average of 10 visits per day during the weekend. This equates to a 296.9% decrease for weekend traffic.

google-traffic

6) Below is the Google search data for a health related website who had an average of 63 visits per day during the week and an average of 61 visits per day during the weekend. This equates to a 3.6% decrease for weekend traffic.

turkish-google-traffic

7) Below is the Google search data for a celebrity website who had an average of 78 visits per day during the week and an average of 71 visits per day during the weekend. This equates to a 9.7% decrease for weekend traffic.

google-traffic

Here is a summary of the data:

1) 12.9% increase for a health related website

2) 26.5% increase for a social media related website

3) 18.3% decrease for a health related website

4) 31.5% decrease for a university website

5) 9.7% decrease for a celebrity website

6) 3.6% decrease for a health related website

7) 296.9% decrease for business to business website

less google searches on the weekend

Conclusion

My hypothesis was that there are less Google searches on the weekends. From this analysis of 7 different websites we can see that this hypothesis is not true all the time. It depends on the type of website. For example a business to business website would almost always have significantly less traffic on the weekends than during the week because people are simply off work and wouldn’t do so many business related searches.

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Asher Fergusson

Asher Fergusson

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5 Comments

  1. This post is epic!

    Reply
  2. dude, aweseme analysis, you really took some time to go over this.
    i really like how you take different websites and compare them.

    we had a social media platform and we saw very different trends:
    1. weekends had a strong increase (specially sunday)
    2. good weather caused a strong decrease
    3. summer was weaker then winter

    but most important of all was the content. if we had good, interesting content (in this case event-pictures), or brought out a new feature the visits skyrocketed for a short period of time.

    its really interesting to see how these dynamics show up differently for different contents 🙂

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comments Emanuel,

      Yeah it really is interesting. I plan to do an analysis of the traffic from social sites also and I’m sure it will be quite different from Google traffic like you suggest :).

      ~Peace

      Reply
  3. Hi Asher,

    Nice to see the differences and to see that your are seeing differences in the type of a website. For the business 2 business you would expect this, I agree.

    It might be an idea to write an algorithm that is checking time/data differences in a (predefined) time span. Such a piece of software/script would find patterns in the data of the different sites. If you label each of your websites like you already did, this might bring up interesting patterns that you did not think up before. You might find that health related websites have peaks at lunch time, but only during summertime.

    Anyway, good luck! Happy traffic hunting

    Reply
    • These are good points. An algorithm would be nice to have for sure!

      Best,

      Asher.

      Reply

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