If you are logging into your Google Analytics account regularly (which you should be doing!!!), you may have seen some weird traffic. All of a sudden one day you had 100 people visit your site and the day before only ten people visited your site. Yay!!! People are coming. There is only one problem. They are not people. They are robots.
What are robots?
This is not a friendly robot visiting your site. It’s not Wall-E. It’s a spam robot. It is fake traffic that hits your site and makes it look like you are getting a ton of traffic, usually from Russia.
Why are there robots?
Why they do this I still don’t understand and why Google has yet to penalize them I am confused. However, this robot issue has been going on for some time now. The idea is they spam your site so that when you check your analytics you click their link they generate traffic.
Why are robots bad?
First, you have Google Analytics so you can track your internet marketing efforts. If you have fake data, you can’t know what your real efforts are and where you should be focusing your time and your marketing plan. If you see that 15% of your traffic is direct 20% is social and 50% is fake referral bots, well that’s not real data. Your direct traffic and your social traffic is actually having a bigger impact then it looks like. And while Google has yet to come out and say it, I do believe their algorithm penalizes you for have tons of fake referral traffic. Again this is only my opinion but from what I have seen, removing these bots with a filter has increased traffic to mine and my clients sites.
How can we defend ourselves?
The good news is it is very very simple to remove these bots. When logged into google analytics, you should see an admin option in the top menu bar. If you look in the admin screen you will see an option for filters.
Now you can set up a new filter by clicking add new. I recommend you use the name of the site as the reference to make it easier for you. This is the Filter Name. Next select Custom. You want make sure it is set to exclude. For the Filter Field, select Referral. For the Filter Pattern, type the name of the site without the http or the www. Scroll to the bottom and click ok.
You will also see an option to verify the filter. However if your site doesn’t not have much traffic, this option will not work. I recommend skipping this and just checking back in a few days to make sure the bots are gone!
What do the bots look like?
Here is a list of some common bots. (Note – I added spaces so they won’t show as links)
o-o-6-o-o . com
humanorightswatch . org
s . click . aliexpress . com
forum . topic47272300 . darodar . com
social – buttons . com
semalt . com
buttons – for – website
editors.choice47272300.hulfingtonpost . com
(I will continue to add to this list as new ones come up but this is as of the publication date)