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  1. #1
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    Bots are throwing off our Google Analytic numbers

    A recent surge in bots browsing our site has really thrown our numbers off.

    Is there anyway to block these bots? I'm not very experienced with GA. Maybe everyone is simply blocking them from their GA stats... but I'd prefer to block them from visiting the site all together. Hmmm...

    Has anyone figured a solution to this problem?

    Our site is built using the latest Wordpress.

    Attachment 2349

  2. #2
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    Re: Bots are throwing off our Google Analytic numbers

    Just set this up myself for someone, same thing you would do to ignore your IP pretty much I do believe.

    Admin -> All Filters (left column) -> new filter -> select "exclude" and "traffic from ISP", I like "contains" for the far right option. Next add "all website data" if it's not already selected for the views.

  3. #3
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    Re: Bots are throwing off our Google Analytic numbers

    Just gave it a shot. Thanks for the advice!

  4. #4
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    Re: Bots are throwing off our Google Analytic numbers

    Hi Ross,

    It's important that you instance your data (if you haven't already). I would make a copy for your analytics for testing purposes, because once data is filtered, it is GONE forever.

    I recently helped a friend out that was getting nailed by 50 different sub-domains from some unsavory characters:

    • www8.free-social-buttons.com
    • www5.free-social-buttons.com
    • www3.free-social-buttons.com
    • www1.free-social-buttons.com
    • site3.free-share-buttons.com
    • www2.free-social-buttons.com
    • websites-reviews.com
    • Get-Free-Traffic-Now.com
    • site6.free-share-buttons.com
    • www.event-tracking.com]Event-Tracking.com
    • free-social-buttons.com
    • site4.free-share-buttons.com


    I'm still learning regex but I put the following filter together to smash all those guys so I'm not constantly playing whack-a-mole with all their sub domains:

    ((((www)|(site))\d|www)\.|)(free-(social|share)-buttons|Get-Free-Traffic-Now|websites-reviews|event-tracking)\.com

    ^ this guy filters all the above and also will grab any additional ones they throw at me.

    Best places I've found to cut your teeth on regex:
    RegexOne - Learn Regular Expressions - Lesson 1: An Introduction and the ABCs
    https://regex.alf.nu/

    Hope this helps y'all.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Bots are throwing off our Google Analytic numbers

    Wow thanks Bryan!

    Way over my head so much appreciated!

    We have some other posts about this with more good suggestions too:

    Sudden Spike in Referral Visits from Semalt.com

    More referrer spam...
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  6. #6
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    Re: Bots are throwing off our Google Analytic numbers

    This has been a major issue for us and its a continual battle because the sites always change. Most of ours are coming from Seamalt and Dorador. I really wish Google would do something about this. You can also go to Admin>View Settings>Bot Filtering and click the box.


    Here is a link to blocking with .htaccess. Have not used it.

    htaccess-referral-spam-blacklist-block

    This file is created to collect and prevent referral spam traffic sources.
    Referral spam has been spread wide across the web. Add this to your .htaccess or config file on a Apache or Nginx server to prevent referral spam traffic from websites like semalt & buttons-for-websites. This file is usually found in the root “public_html” folder of your website.


  7. #7
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    Re: Bots are throwing off our Google Analytic numbers

    Thanks for sharing some advice on how to prevent these nuisance bots from entering your data. Has anyone actually seen a negative impact SEO or SERP-wise with the increase in these bot visits?

    I've questioned before how this may hurt from a UX perspective or from Google analyzing the traffic and seeing higher bounce rates from the bots. I have not noticed anything negative myself but wondering how well Google knows the difference between bots and visitors, being as though they count as sessions and against your bounce rate.

  8. #8
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    Re: Bots are throwing off our Google Analytic numbers

    I have not noticed any ranking changes due to the Bots. The only downside I see is the clutter and annoyance of skewed data and the amount of time built up from explaining the the bounce rate to the client.

    Google is working on a guide though. Maybe Google needs a little Bryan Seely campaign to help nudge them a bit. They seem to only listen when embarrassed. We don't have to use G.A. There are other Alternatives.


    GA Data Quality is Important. Here’s how to eliminate bad referral data

  9. #9
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    Re: Bots are throwing off our Google Analytic numbers

    It's not something that would concern me regarding seo performance. The problem is widespread enough that it is either dealt with well by google, never mattered to google anyway, or is just going to take all of the popular websites down a notch which will mean that everyone basically stays in the same place. This is referral data from websites, not from search so 'bounces' as we call them wouldn't come into play IMHO. Even if there is more going on here than I care to investigate, it's maybe noteworthy that Google has always stated that they don't actually use bounce rates. They might use 'pogosticking' and you can ref to seobythesea for all of the patent discussion on that one, but it's essentially looking at bounce rates, but not exactly. That's a bit of my opinion mixed with some fact, you'll find plenty of people who will dispute what kind of user behavior data is actually employed in current algorithms.

  10. #10
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    Re: Bots are throwing off our Google Analytic numbers

    I sought out a solution to this recently and found 2:

    Option 1:

    Go Here: https://www.sempdx.org/blog/analytics-spam-filtering/
    This is good because it will allow you to keep custom dashboards and will filter out a ton of the most common referrer spam sites. The bad thing is you can't back-date it so the prior reports will still show all the stupid sites.


    Option 2:

    Use this if the client wants a report historically that shows their traffic by source. The bad thing is it doesn't work with our custom Analytics dashboards (screws up Google AdWords data).

    Go to the Google Analytics Solutions Gallery
    Search for Exclude Junk & Spam by Savvy Search Marketing Ltd
    Apply it to the profile
    Go to Analytics
    Click the dropdown beside "All Sessions" under the Source/Medium Report
    Unclick "All Sessions" and click "Exclude Spam & Junk"

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