Spambot Traffic Creates False Visit & Session Data
Hey webmaster warriors, what do you know about spambot traffic?
In looking at your Google Analytics, have you noticed the following referrals:
- Simple Share Buttons
- Buttons For Website
Perhaps you've also seen others that look similar. What the hell are these things, and what is this traffic showing up on your site?
Sad to say, these are spambot crawlers that simply visit your site again and again and again, inflating your visitor and session counts, and don't do a damn thing for your business. Referrer spam does absolutely nothing for your site, eats up bandwidth and causes you or your marketing department to see a false picture of website visitors and sessions.
Imagine how frustrated you are, seeing a high visitor count, but not converting. If you didn't dig into your referral traffic and understand what's going on by clicking on some of those "don't look right" URLs, you might waste time, energy and resources changing your site, when the problem isn't your content or offer, it's crawler traffic that is simply visiting your site.
How can you get rid of these things and get a pure count? At first, I found a tutorial that showed me how to filter these creatures in Google Analytics, which I thought would solve the problem, but it hasn't. Be that as it may, here's the process below.
Filtering Spambot Traffic In Google Analytics
Go to the Admin Tab in Google Analytics for the property (website) you want to filter traffic for.
Under View, click on Filters.
Click +New Filter
See the screen shots below:
The first filter is your typical IP address exclude, which every analytics property should have set up immediately. That's not what we want to look at; we are looking at the next three, which are spambot referral sites.
Basically, follow this screen shot and set up one filter for every spambot referral you find. Remember, if you set up filters, then remove them, you lose all data associated with that filter forever and forever.
However, I've read where this method doesn't address the underlying problem, which is the spambots are still visiting your site, crawling it for no good reason and eating up bandwidth. So here's another method you can use to get rid of this traffic. If you're not comfortable with editing the files listed, get your friendly neighborhood web developer to do this for you.
Basically, you (or someone) will edit your htacess file to block the spambots from even getting into the server. Apparently, this is the best way to keep them from getting near your domain. However, you must be comfortable with editing and modifying the appropriate file for your server.
For every spambot crawling your site, you'll need to use similar coding methods to block it completely. You'll need to continue to check your Google Analytics traffic regularly, since these things appear to breed like bugs and rats, and new ones keep popping up all the time.
And there you have it...give these a try. But again, this is a task that you'll need to do time and time again.
Until we meet again, all the very best to you,
Screenshots courtesy of author