Bot traffic has the capacity to impact on the Google Analytics (GA) reporting data, hampering the performance of the website, increasing the costs of website maintenance and leading to false assumptions. Most users believe that bot traffic does not impact on their websites. However, recent studies indicate that sixty percent of websites can be associated with bots. In this regard, it is significant to understand ways of spotting bot traffic to report data accurately.
In this article, Lisa Mitchell, the Customer Success Manager of Semalt, highlights some best practices that can be used to detect bot traffic in Google Analytics (GA) reports as well as methods of eliminating bots by the use of filters and other mentioned techniques. Additionally, important industry practices that must be followed alongside GA filters are discussed.
Identification of Bots
The following are important points to look out in GA reports that are associated with bots:
• Low average duration per session.
• High rates of bouncing.
• Almost 100% traffic by new visitors.
Filtration of Bots
• Admin View Settings
Under the "Admin" segment, a user can edit "view" settings by checking the box for eliminating known bots. Internet experts recommend that users should build a test view at first so at to see the affected results before applying to the main view. The ABC/IAB International Bots and Spiders List outlines eliminated bots that are not available in the public domain.
• The use of User Agent and IP Address
• Exclude Bot Traffic
Several industry practices can be followed outside GA, for instance, CAPTCHA service. As a company, Google introduced a new service of the popular CAPTCHA called "No CAPTCHA." This service can detect human behavior, like the use of mouse and make a decision based on such acts. The addition of phrase for verification reasons is of no use in this scenario. Every time a user visits a web page for the first time, "No CAPTCHA" service is displayed to the user. The Google Analytics (GA) tag should then be fired after successful completion of the CAPTCHA service. Lastly, a session cookie can then be set up after the procedure, and it should exclude most bot traffic that enters a site. A follow-up process can be set up by presenting a form requesting email addresses from users for sending the activation link within 24 hours.