Filtering Spambots for Local Businesses

in Google Analytics

Spambots are on the rise. We wrote about this a couple of months ago but recently we're seeing an unprecedented increase on many sites even AFTER setting the Google spambot filter. Here's how to eliminate 99% of the spambot activity.

Traditionally we have recommended identifying the spambots among the referrals in your analytics data and then excluding the domains of each. This worked for a while but with the increase in the activity and the number of domains, the method of filtering has become less effective. We are seeing hundreds of sessions per month on some sites.

Local businesses have another weapon! Instead of using the exclude filter in analytics, we're now recommending you use the INCLUDE filter and set the filter to include either your country (United States) or your region (Ohio or other state). Since you really only need to care about local traffic, this is a great way to focus on the traffic in your local region AND filter the spambot traffic originating from outside the region (or country). 

Here're simple instructions:

1. Login to Google Analytics

2. Under Admin / View, select Filters

3. Click "Add Filter"

4. Create New Filter

5. Give your Filter a name

6. Select "Custom"

7. Click the "Include" radio button

8. For Filter Field: select in the dropdown list: Country (or Region)

9. If you select "Country" type "United States" as the filter pattern (no quotes). If you select Region you can type "Ohio" or "Ohio|Indiana|Kentucky" (no quotes) as the filter pattern.

10. You can verify the filter to see the effect and then save the filter.