For those who are new to the idea of having referral spam in the Google Analytics reports, Michael Brown, the Customer Success Manager of Semalt Digital Services, presents one example of such.
ilovevitality.com is a domain that keeps appearing in some company’s traffic report. If one notices this domain name appearing in the report, and with a lot of traffic from it, remain cautious as it is not actual people visiting the site.
ilovevitality.com is the work of an autoboot or a crawling bot whose primary intention is to target the site with as much traffic, enough to win over the owner’s curiosity to see what is unique about it. In the end, the person behind the manipulative automated bot ends up receiving traffic for their site. The problem here is that for the side of the website owner, bots can destroy the accuracy and reliability of the traffic data for their sites. Therefore, it is imperative that they take affirmative action to get rid or filter these bots from Google Analytics.
There are ways to get rid of the ilovevitality bot out of the Google Analytics reports. Also, people should learn how to identify a bot from organic traffic. But first, it is important to understand why they need to take all these actions and block bots:
Why Block Bots
Bots are very annoying if one has run-ins with several different ones. The situation gets even worse when they appear in the Google Analytics reports as it automatically makes all data incorrect and not usable to implement a marketing campaign. For instance, all conversion rates and the goal competition data reported becomes inaccurate. The data depicted in the graphs is far from correct. Sometimes, one may think that the website performs poorly, but in reality, does better than expected. It means that bot traffic can destroy all perceptions about the site’s performance.
ilovevitality.com is a new traffic bot developed to target websites. It has the potential to affect multiple sites in a day. Experts believe that its goal is to sell owners on the keywords. The tools that ilovevitality uses are of low quality and have a terrible effect on the website. If the site receives too much traffic from ilovevitality.com, the owner should remember that they end up paying for the resources that these bots use up. ilovevitality relies on the site hosting of a website which means that the website will use up resources that they could use for other productive activities. It thus serves as the very basis of the existence of many webmasters currently.
Blocking Bots from Accessing the Website
There is no way to go about this rather than through the host files. One can add code to the .htaccess file to make sure it blocks the bot. However, it is quite risky to mess with host files. The alternative is to get rid of the data.
Alternatives to Blocking Bots
The following is a strategy for use at the Google Analytics level:
- Open GA and head to the Admin tab.
- Choose an appropriate account ensuring that there is one with unfiltered data.
- Select filters and click on the add new filter.
- Set exclude filter and select the referral traffic. Input the exact name of the bot causing harm.
- Save the settings.
- While still on the same view, click on the arrow below the graph in GA reports.
- Create an annotation of the data you made the change.