Firstly, before taking you through the technical bit, I want to let you know that this is the most basic method that Google themselves have introduced through their Analytics interface. You could get rid of bot traffic using many other methods like filters, segments, custom dimensions and blocking of IP addresses.
You could implement all of these methods to eliminate all the bot-traffic in your Google Analytics. But, the simplest of them all is the one that I am going to take you through. Please be aware that this may not be the most effective method, but this has proved to be effective up to a certain extent.
Two months ago, somewhere between May and June, this year (2015) we saw a sudden spike in the overall traffic data for one of our local clients; this seemed quite strange. Out of excitement, we tried to investigate further. When we tried digging deeper into the analytics data, we found that the source contributing to this sudden rise in the traffic to the website was the ‘Referral’ channel.
And, this significant amount of traffic was coming into the website only on one or two particular days (i.e. 20th of May and 5th of June, 2015) (as shown in the below snapshot). Now, this did not look natural as there wasn’t any sort of special discounts being offered or any special event held on these two days.
On diving deeper into the sources, we found that the referral channel was driving over 70% of the total visits to our client’s website on the 5th of June, 2015 (as shown in the snapshot below) and most of the referral sources that were bringing in traffic to the website weren’t genuine. So obviously, the traffic coming into our client’s website wasn’t real humans. If these were not humans, what were these, the answer was clear – these were BAD BOTS.
Bot Traffic – Good or Bad?
According to a study carried out by Incapsula in the year-2014, bot traffic accounts for 56% of all traffic on a typical website. And, bad or malicious bots account for 29% of all website visits.
What are bad or malicious bots?
These are mischievous bots with browser-like capabilities masked by proxy servers used to invade data.
How To Get Rid of Bot Traffic
Now we’ll take you through the steps you need to take to eliminate your bot-traffic from your Google Analytics data:
Step 1: Sign in to your Google Analytics Account
Step 2: Select your Property or Website
Step 3: Go to ‘Admin’ > Click on ‘View Settings’ (as shown in the snapshot below)
Step 4: In the ‘View Settings’ section -> Click on the ‘Copy View’ option (as shown in the snapshot below)
Step 5: ‘Name the View’ that you have copied or created -> Click on the ‘Copy View’ button (as shown in the snapshot below)
Step 6: ‘Select your newly created ‘View’ from the drop-down > Click on ‘View Settings’ (as shown in the snapshot below)
Step 7: Tick the ‘Exclude all hits from known bots and spiders’ Checkbox -> Click the ‘SAVE’ button (as shown in the snapshot below)
Google Analytics is known to match each visitors’ User Agent string to the list of known bots and spiders, we have come across one such IAB list – 2013.
I hope this helps you get rid of at least 40 to 50 percent of the bot traffic to your website. For further information or to find out how Broadplace Advertising can assist you with this and a whole host of other website-improvement techniques, get in touch today!