Curious aplab / a-app1 pageviews in Google Analytics


Since September 2020 we recognize some curious pageviews. The pageviews look like this:

All of those visitors seem to be just normal visitors (no bots) and use either iOS (mostly) or macOS (ca. 10%). The strange thing is that the pageviews have added an url query string, which includes the (previous) Google search url and so also the Google search query oft the user (in plaintext). There are also the url parameters client=safari, channel=aplab and source=a-app1 (always the same values).

It seems that mostly content or blog websites are affected, here one example of a content website (the "aplab" pageviews):

The percentage of sessions with those pageviews in relation to all sessions is 0,01% here.

And that's the same report example from an online shop:

The percentage of sessions with those pageviews in relation to all sessions is far below 0,00% here.

Both have a similar amount of total sessions.

Those visitors came from different countries, but mostly "rich" regions like US, UK or Germany/France.

Most of them (99%) had no referrer (medium=direct), but 1% hade different a source/medium like Google Organic, other links, ...
The Safari browsers had version numbers from 13.1 to 14.1, some users (0,8%) came with a Google Chrome browser (different version numbers).
The screen resolutions are mostly low, the biggest one was 1024x1366. So all users seem to use a mobil device, even if the statistic has some macOS users.

So we could not find out what the real source is of this useres.
We think it may be somthing like a news app (Google News?).
If you have an idea or you even find out more than us, please let us know ...


Andi Petzoldt