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Excluding Bot Traffic from Google Analytics5 min read

November 23, 2018

The main purpose of Google Analytics is to help the users gauge the progress of their websites. This happens due to the inherent feature of Google Analytics that allows it to monitor the hits on a website you integrate it with. The services offered by Google Analytics come free of cost, but are far from ideal for small businesses, and can, in fact, hinder their progress. The traffic on Google Analytics must be stringently monitored and that requires the users to sanction tight filters on various levels of the analytics page. Without this, most of the traffic that shows on the website will be irrelevant and may delude the users into thinking that their website is progressing. This is why eliminating useless traffic is very important and cannot be disregarded.

 

Threats Of Bots And Other Sources Of Misinformation

We implement changes on sites to improve website user experience and cater to the right followers for which they need accurate statistics regarding website visits and interactions. This, however, defeats the purpose if the visitors are random bots scouring through the pages on the internet. Given the rise of random bots that visit sites, the increase in bot traffic has created a headache for Google Analytics users.

It’s not just the misguiding nature of the traffic details that is a problem—some bots that are on the search mean no harm and are just other search engine robots or so; the real threat is not the ill-representation of information but, in fact, the misuse of it if the malicious bots get their hands on it. This concerns most users and is hence a gnawing problem of the recent times.

It does not stop at bots. For efficient information on website usage, only the productive exchanges must be reported and others filtered. Hence, for a big company where constant changes to the site are made by employees and a large part of the interplay occurs from within the company, this part must be meshed out so that user interaction only remains in focus while viewing the statistics.

 

Brief Solutions

Now, there are checks in place to eliminate both the aforementioned predicaments. When it comes to bots, a multi-tier filter system is highly reliable. Start with the bot filter in Google Analytics and then stonewall your site against the bots by blocking the common bot IP addresses through Google Analytics filters. Put out Captchas and ask for personal user information to cut out the artificial users. Google Tag Manager presents more options for bot security.

In case of employee-access traffic problems, the IP address or domain filters can be implemented for excluding the useless crowd and focussing on the key interactors.

 

Overview Of Spam Traffic

The entire ambit of useless traffic can be summed up as spam traffic. A lot of web crawlers that get past basic security manage to feed data into your analytics account and extract some of it, too. They merge in with real users by feigning to be from certain fake links but use real domain names to get through undetected. If the adequate filters are not in place, they get in and have access to your data. There are codes to prevent that, but with advances, the ill-intended crawlers can get past such code to get to the core. These are the spammers that harm your direct traffic information.

 

Pertinence Of Measurement Protocol

The introduction of the Measurement Protocol has made Google Analytics more informative. You can send raw data to different servers from remote systems by formatting it in a certain way and help Google Analytics collate it. However, specific filtered data can only be sent via the Measurement Protocol. Bot checks must be made here as well. Since the Measurement Protocol has open pathways to more GA information flow, more bot User Agents are likely to infiltrate your site through this channel.  

The key incentive that motivates the spammers is to increase the traffic on their own sites. When a recurring domain shows in your list of interactions, you tend to go forward and browse it after opening it. The spammers hence profit from this interaction and the ads on their site yield their worth.

Spam Filters by Google Tag Manager are particularly useful and efficient. The vulnerability posed by the tracking code exposure in case of Measurement Protocol is checked by doing this and it is actually a fairly simple process. This provides the Measurement Protocol spam traffic filter solution.


Exclusions (Useful and Unuseful)

  1. Referral exclusions: An inadvertent way of accruing false information about site visits is not checking for referral exclusions. Many sites have ads or other portals accessible through them or channeled through them. These portals redirect users to the original site and this may be counted as an additional visit even when it clearly is not. Such referral visits must be excluded and there are specific filters in place for the same.

 

  1. Terrain exclusions: It is a very bad idea to filter out interactions of the entire set of people from a given region just because a lot of collective bots are pestering the user of a website.

 

Conclusion

Hence, there are efficient methods of countering the hazards posed by bots and the problems of wrongful traffic accumulation. The filters must be used smartly and overdoing it may lead to useful information getting diluted.  Web crawlers and manipulators find an in through the Measurement Protocol so nullifying that is another tactic one must implement. All in all, the reinforcements are in place and must be used systematically for what they are worth.

 

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