In our recent visual excerpt of a year in moderation, we see that community moderation actions have drastically declined. One explanation is that our site-wide quality improved drastically — simultaneously, our site analytics are in decline. What is going on here?
The apparent drop in traffic is an artifact of how cookies for Google Analytics are categorized
On the 10th of May 2022, the cookies used by SE were changed. As a result Site traffic fell off the table the week of May 10, 2022. What happened?
Due to the altered cookies, pre-May 2022 data can't be reliably compared to post-May 2022 data.
The drop in "traffic" coincides with the swap of the cookies to a different model. Before that day, the analytics tracking cookie was mandatory, since then it is optional and positive acceptance is required to be tracked. As a result, tracked traffic declined since many people deny performance tracking cookies by default.
Handled questions are not correlating to quality of questions but quantity of handlers
The number of questions handled in some way or another does not only correlate with the quality of the questions, but the quantity of handlers. Watching the number of handling queue events handled by the site, a direct impact on all other handling categories above is to be expected.
Or phrased differently: Many people identify many bad questions. If fewer people identify fewer bad questions, that doesn't mean there are more good questions, but just that there are fewer bad questions detected.