Chances are, your Google Analytics Traffic numbers are being greatly distorted by the surge in web crawlers or spider bot programs. Take a look at your Acquisition | All Traffic | Referrals section of your Analytics. It’s likely that your numbers have been soaring over the past few months. A look at what source that is driving this “traffic” might include:
…or some other Ghost Referral Spam source. You can usually tell by the name. That and they will have 100% bounce rate.
Before you panic, this isn’t going to penalize you or affect your rankings. And it’s not a security breach of your website. In most cases, the bogus traffic is never even hitting your site at all. It’s messing with the google tracking mechanism. However, it messes with your analytics data in sessions, sources and bounce rate distortions, and this can be a real pain when you are reviewing your traffic and making decision.
Google has taken notice and supposedly is working on a global solution, but in the meantime, here are some steps to take to reduce or remove the problem.
1) Log into Analytics.
2) Click “Admin” Up Top.
3) Click “View Settings” in the 3rd Column.
4) Check “Exclude all hits from known bots and spiders” in the “Bot Filtering” Section.
*** this by itself is not fixing the problem, but is a setting that should be checked as a precaution while Google works on their solution
5) Most Important: Visit the Google Analytics Solution Gallery and click “Import” on the latest Spam Bot Solution update available. Don’t forget to change the url to your domain in the Segments section per the instructions.
This is something that you’ll have to check on a monthly basis since the solution gallery update is only as good as the last wave of spam bot urls listed. They keep changing, so keep an eye on that Referral Traffic Tab for what is messing up your data.
Happy Spam Hunting! If you need assistance with this or any digital marketing projects, call or email us.