April 19, 2015 | Elite Wolf Tips from Elite Wolf Digital – Minneapolis Within the past couple of years as I scour through clients analytics and come across unwarranted and unwanted visits from spam bots. At first my clients notice the boost in traffic and think its a good thing. I have to tell them that it’s just crawlers used for various reasons, one being indexing just like google, yahoo and bing. The difference is the official crawlers don’t leave a visit on your analytics. The second reason this is being done more recently is to leave a website referral source in your stats. This makes people want to see what weird site is visiting them? It works just as planned, and you get redirected to a site for some type of business. Even though it says social-buttons.com, forum.topic34784140.darodar.com, checkpagerank.net, ilovevitaly.co, semalt.com and simple-share-buttons.com it usually isn’t, and you really don’t have a backlink there. There are a few downfalls to this. One is that it kills your bounce rate. This is the rate of people that come and leave after only viewing one page. Another is that it decreases your average page views and time on site, also key factors in figuring how your traffic is engaging your site. From what I’ve read is that there could also be malware installed by visiting the sites that leave their URL in your analytics, although I’ve never had anyone verify this. They’ve also found a way to leave an imprint on your analytics without physically visiting your site. So your other analytics such as jetpack or clicky, don’t show a visit, while your Google ones do. I’ve read a few different way to combat this type of analytic spam. First is to block IP addresses in your Google account or on your .htaccess file. Not only is this pretty technical, the companies will keep coming up with different names and IP addresses to wreck your stats. For our average reader you just want it to stop so you can enjoy your stats. The best way we have found is to to into your google analytics dashboard. Click on the admin tab. Next you want to go over to the view column on the right side and click “view settings”, the first item in the column. After you have clicked this the screen slides to review some settings. Look to the bottom where it says “bot filtering”. Just tick the box to exclude all hits from known bots and spiders. That’s it. Is this perfect? No, but not every method will stop all the new bots and spiders created by these spammers. Google will do their best to keep up with the newest URL’s and do everything for you. It does not block them from visiting your site, but these are harmless anyways. All it does is keep your analytics as accurate as possible, and let you worry about the true numbers you should be looking at.