I hijacked this week’s Office Hours with an explanation on how to prevent and remove bot traffic from your Google Analytics profile.
A couple weeks ago, while reviewing my weekly dashboard I noticed something strange: on January 31st my website spiked by 500x the traffic. Now I like to think that I’m good at SEO- but nobody’s that good and I was suspect. I dug in to my Google Analytics Data to see what was going on.
Apparently a bot was spoofing traffic as if it were coming from some referring websites (CAUTION: don’t visit these websites): trafficbot.life, bottraffic.live, and even bot-traffic.xyz. This also spoofed my organic search traffic that looked like it was going to pages on my site with similar names.
This is more than vandalism, it hurts my marketing efforts because this incorrect spike in data will not allow me to see what’s really going on. With good data, we make good marketing decisions. As a result, this could hamper our marketing efforts.
So, what can we do to fix this? What can we do to prevent this?
- This starts by setting up your Google Analytics profile correctly (whether you’re starting from scratch or starting anew).
- Next you should find a way to remove the false-traffic using a Google Analytics Segment. This allows you to exclude the data from without permanently changing your data. I struggled with this in the video, but I hope it shows you the idea of how to do this.
- Lastly you can setup a filter in your Google Analytics view to exclude this traffic moving forward. CAUTION: per step one, make sure you’ve setup a “testing” and “backup” view before changing your data.
I learned a lot about how to prevent Google Analytics spam from Analytics Edge, and can commend their article to you to better understand what’s going on with Google Analytics Spam and how to fix it.