Spam Bot Traffic in Google Analytics
On January 31, Google Analytics accounts were hit with a large spike classified as a “landing page” (coming from Google) from one of these four referrals:
Although Google’s anti-spam team fixed the initial spike on January 31, Overdrive is still seeing bot traffic on February 2-3, 2021.
Did this Impact My Google Analytics? How Did This Happen?
In your Google Analytics Property, navigate to Behavior à Site Content à Landing Pages, and you may see an uptick in traffic based on the bottraffic/trafficbot anomaly.
If you receive a lot of traffic, type .*trafficbot.*|.*traffic-bot.*|.*bot-traffic.*|.*bottraffic.* into the search box’s regex to find this bot traffic.
Although most of our Google Analytics properties have the “Filter for Known Bots” selected, as well as custom spam filters set up by Overdrive and development teams, spam is a constant challenge for web analytics platforms.
Temporary Impact on Your Google Analytics Data (GA)
Since filters are not retroactive, your organic traffic will be skewed in January-February 2021 without setting up a Google Analytics Advanced Segment to hide this bot traffic from reporting.
Solutions to Bot Traffic Spike in Google Analytics
Temporary Solution: If you need to review data in January-February 2021, review the screenshot below to create an advanced segment in your e Analytics properties excluding this bot traffic.
- Under “Conditions”, add an exclusion filter for “Browser Size” by (not set) to hide the bot traffic
Long-Term Solution: Keep fighting Google Analytics Spam by asking your development team to add this filter in your GA Property Filter settings or use your CDN or .htaccess file to exclude these Request URI’s.
- Add .*trafficbot.*|.*traffic-bot.*|.*bot-traffic.*|.*bottraffic.* to your exclusion filter (below; include all periods)
Note: Request URI = ‘Page’ Dimension in Google Analytics
Warning (Before You Add the Filter Exclusions)
- Test these filters in your “Test” View of your Google Analytics Property
- Backup of your htaccess file before you edit it. If something goes wrong, your website will go down.