Huge increase in direct visits

It happened on the 09th of July, suddenly direct visits to one of our websites started spike up to 650 from 25 visits the previous day. This was a very unusual increase in terms of web traffic. Immediately we contacted the client to see if they have had a TV ad or any other offline promotion go live. It turned out to be that they had no offline marketing effort during the last few days.

After a few days the direct traffic started to increase gradually to seven hundred, then eight hundred, then nine hundred and ultimately hit one thousand. Meanwhile the bounce rate of the website started sky rocketing.

Huge increase in Direct visits

Bounce Rate: 99.65%

Avg. Session Duration: 0:02
Pages/session: 1.01
Almosts all new users

We began to investigate the issue and found few others were also impacted by the same issue.

http://moz.com/community/q/huge-spike-in-direct-traffic-from-ie7

http://www.ukbusinessforums.co.uk/threads/huge-increase-in-direct-traffic-to-our-site-in-the-last-four-days-with-a-high-bounce-rate.329389/

Google Analytics Stats

We started to investigate further about the huge increase of direct visits to the website and we saw most of the visits came mainly from the United States & spread across many other countries. Majority of the visits came through IE7 & IE8 browsers.

What was done so far, 

Filtered the traffic from the browser IE7 & IE8 (where most of this fake traffic generated through), from the main reporting view to keep the reports clean.

Then I created a new view called (IE Traffic) to monitor the large volume of direct traffic.

Will monitor the Direct visits until a solution is found.

Please share your input regarding this huge Direct visit issue at

https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!category-topic/analytics/discuss-issues-related-to-your-accounts-reports-and-data/FIZQe2AkPmM 

Farhan Fawzer is a Sri Lankan SEO Specialist and Online Marketing Consultant.