Google has announced a new feature within analytics that lets you filter out known bots and spiders from your website traffic results. Hooray!
Bots and spiders are automated programmes that scan websites – this includes search engine’s own bots checking out your website for new articles etc, as well as the malicious ones who might visit for example to harbour your email address so they can spam you. Whilst there’s currently no surefire way to stop the malicious ones visiting your website (without paying a lot of money for a list of bots’s IP addresses and manually blocking each), this filter allows us to remove the known ones from your website user reports.
Once activated on your account, you will no longer see hits to your website that come from known bots and spiders. This means you’ll get a much clearer picture of how genuine visitors use your site. It does also mean you’ll see a drop in website traffic in your reports… But bear in mind these were never potential customers anyway.
To activate bot and spider filtering in your Google Analytics account, go to ‘Admin’ then ‘View Settings’ (under the View column).