Google Analytics Letting You Block Bot & Spiders Hits

Google Analytics now lets you exclude traffic from known bots and spiders in your reporting. By checking a box in the View Settings section of the admin, you’ll be able to filter out traffic from known bots and spiders on a list managed IAB. I don’t have any idea how many hits we can really […]

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July 30, 2014

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Google Analytics now lets you exclude traffic from known bots and spiders in your reporting. By checking a box in the View Settings section of the admin, you’ll be able to filter out traffic from known bots and spiders on a list managed IAB.

I don’t have any idea how many hits we can really ascribe to bots and spiders, but I’m curious as hell about what the numbers are going to look like.

The contribution to large ecoms and publishers could be worth talking about if you factor in scrapers, tools maintaining their own indices (e.g. Moz) and even the frequency of Google’s own crawls. That said, right now I’m not too worried about it drastically changing traffic numbers.

My guesstimate is 3-5% based on some log file research I’ve done in the past. Not anything to sneeze at, but not enough to cost you a bonus (or a job).

Advice on Using the Google Analytics Bot Filter:

Some of you will be tempted to turn this on right now and “reap the whirlwind”. Don’t. Do. It.

Instead, copy a current GA view and include this new filter on that one.

Yes, this will mean that it takes a while for you to get a good data set, but it also insulates you from internal pressures while you get a handle on the impact.

While filtering spiders will give you cleaner data, it may also require you to drastically change your goal numbers and your spends, especially if you find that a lot of your recent growth isn’t real.

Let the information build up over time, then compare at least 1 month of data between your main view and the new one with the filter.

Screenshot from the Google+ post about this

Big-ass spider (Goliath birdeater?) featured image courtesy Wikipedia

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