How to Identify and Block Web Monitoring Bots in Google Analytics
For a recent client, we found that these bots were contributing roughly 18,000 visits (and bounces) a month. In other words, it was a noticeable impact on the quality of metrics in Google Analytics.
How to Identify Bot Traffic / Are Bots Influencing Your Metrics?
In order to identify bot traffic, you are going to be looking for groups of visits, by a visitor’s service provider or visitor’s domain dimension that have a 100% (or very close to it) bounce rate and a 100% new visit rate. You’ll want to do your due diligence to ensure that these visits that you find are not the result of a tagging issue on your site . Such as a page that has different tracking settings than another and are causing cookie resets.
The ‘Service Provider’ report in GA provides a great starting point for this analysis. Head over to Standard Reporting > Audience > Technology > Network. Once here, you’ll want to switch to the table view and then apply an advanced filter so that we can look at sizable, high-bounce traffic. In this case, we are filtering the report to only look at bounce rates that are greater than 90% and also have visits greater than 100 during our monthly date range.
Additionally, if you can get a list of IP addresses from the web performance provider, you can exclude based on the IP address that they provide. Note though that these providers change and add new IPs all the time, so I find that this method requires more maintenance. View Google’s IP RegEx tool for more information on IP ranges or multiple IP/ranges and the use of regex in custom filters.
Let us know if you have any questions.