Google announced yesterday that a new feature is being rolled out this week that will allow you to exclude traffic from known bots and spiders from your Google Analytics data. How are these non-humans identified, you ask? Google is using the IAB list of bots and spiders.
So, since most marketers and website visitors are primarily interested in human visitors, this is one feature you’ll want to enable. However, if you aren’t sure yet, copy your existing View to a new View and enable the exclusion in the new View. Monitor for a week, then go back and enable the feature in your live Views.
One reason for not blindly applying an exclusion for non-human traffic (NHT), is that NHT could be a noticeable portion of your referring traffic, whether from referring sites or paid media such as banner ads.
- comScore has written about keeping ahead of bot traffic, with their research showing that NHT grew from 6% in 2011 to 36% in 2012.
Trying this new feature out first in a separate duplicate View will allow you to step into this change with your eyes open.
In “View Settings”, you’ll find the tick box to enable new feature just above the AdWords account linking area:
As with many View settings, this feature is not retroactive. Therefore, remember to make a note in Annotations when this change is made.
If you don’t see this Bot Filtering option yet, check back tomorrow as it’s being rolled out now. It will be available to all versions of Google Analytics, not just Universal Analytics.