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We appear to have gained celebrity status over the past few hours, and are now receiving over 20 million visits per day. According to the Site Stats readout on the side of the page, anyway.

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Area 51 does not corroborate this. Perhaps the two fell out over something, and Site Stats is making a statement of some form.

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Question: why is this happening?

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    $\begingroup$ I got 3565 views per day here. The stats form Area 51 look like the real one. 20 millions is not possible considering that it's an average based on a certain number of days. I think you might have a problem but I have no clue what it could be. Maybe you should consider moving this to Meta meta? $\endgroup$ – Vincent May 29 '15 at 0:51
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The falling-out isn't between the main site and Area 51, but rather between Google and Stack Exchange.

Anna Lear, an SE developer, tweeted about a Google API change two days ago. That's when the moderator tools for viewing traffic reports stopped working. (These are still broken as of this writing.)

Why is some part of this chain reporting 20M visits? Possibly this is part of reseting something -- we may be seeing every page load since the beginning of time, though that still feels off by a couple orders of magnitude. However, another, much-smaller site is seeing the exact same number of visits now, so we might be getting all hits for the entire network over some period of time. Throw SO into the mix and things get out of whack, after all.

Area 51 sometimes goes days without updating this stat. Area 51 is old and creaky and doesn't get a lot of love; my guess is that it isn't as resilient in the face of failure or flakiness. Area 51 may have just given up, while the main SE sites try valiantly to get updated data from Google and, well, don't necessarily get the best data. This may be one of those rare times when Area 51 is better off for being old and creaky and devoid of love.

Alternatively, maybe we should blame caching. It's traditional.

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This was the result of Google deprecating the login method we were using to get analytics. We've updating all the analytics code and it's pulling again.

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