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How to stop spam bots ruining your Analytics

Published: January 2016

No one likes web spam, particularly when it clouds your ability to make accurate decisions. Having been asked by 2 clients recently about how to tidy up their Google Analytics and remove unwanted traffic, we’ve put together a quick guide on how to stop spam bots and help gather more accurate data.

Bot Filtering

Firstly Google Analytics does have the facility to exclude visits from known bots and spiders. If you go into the ‘Admin’ tab, click ‘View’ and then ‘View Settings’ you can tick the ‘Bot Filtering’ checkbox, as illustrated at the bottom of in the image below. This is a good start, but only blocks the bots that Google themselves know about. With new sources of web spam appearing almost daily, we need to go a couple of steps further to really drill down on these pesky varmints.

analytics blog2

Referral spam

Popular bots often seen in Analytics reports are referrals from domains such as ‘share-buttons.xyz’ and ‘traffic2cash.xyz’, let’s take a look at traffic2cash. Again if we go into the ‘Admin’ tab, we need to click on ‘Tracking Info’ as listed under the ‘Property’ tab.

analytics blog 3

Once there we need to select ‘Referral Exclusion List’. Here we can enter the domain or website name that we wish exclude. In this case we can enter www.traffic2cash.xyz (as below) and click save. This will now stop referral traffic coming from this site.

referral exclusion

Direct Spam

Spam bots also pop up in our direct traffic lists, often with the same domain name. To deal with this we need to go into the ‘Admin’ section again, then ‘View’ and select ‘Filters’. To exclude traffic from any domain, in this case www.traffic2cash.xyz, we need to set up the filter as shown below and click ‘Save’.

Google Analytics spam

These easy steps will limit a large amount of spam visits from skewing your web traffic, but always remember there are new spam sources and bots appearing all the time. Check your direct traffic and referral traffic sources regularly to identify visits from questionable sources and simply follow the steps above to limit your analytics spam.

To get more from your website and learn how the right data can allow you to make better decisions, talk Newcastle marketing agency Urban River today on 0191 423 5688.

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