If you’re ready to get rid of the spam in your Google Analytics account, there’s three key steps you’ll need to follow.
Watch my video to learn what they are and why they’re important, or read the transcript below.
You can find my detailed step-by-step guide to removing Google Analytics spam here:
How to Stop Google Analytics Spam: A Step-By-Step Guide
Hello! I’m Nikki from MeasureWhatWorks.com and today I want to talk to you about getting rid of Google Analytics spam and the three important steps you must follow if you want to clean up your data for good.
Ok, so before I get into those three important steps there’s one other thing I want to talk about, something that’s really important that you don’t do and that is when you go to your Google Analytics data and you see all of those junky sites in there like traffic cash and SEO buttons and fix website errors and all those kinds of things, do NOT visit those sites in your browser.
If you don’t know if it’s a junk site or not, if it’s not immediately obvious from the domain then use something like GeoPeeker.com or WebPageTest.org or even just do a quick Google search for that domain and see what comes up.
If it looks legitimate, then you can leave it be, but if it looks spammy then run a mile.
If you actually do visit one of those sites, at best you might see a bunch of ads for something you don’t want to buy and worst you may end up with a virus, a trojan or some piece of malicious software that messes up your computer and your browser and just makes your life a pain in the neck.
So having said that, let’s move on to the three steps.
So the three steps are first, one, create multiple views.
So a view is basically a bucket that keeps all of your data for a particular site and normally when you set up your website in Google Analytics, they give you one view by default, but if you start trying to clean up your junk data from that and you make a mistake, you can actually lose legitimate data, so it’s really important that you create multiple views to protect your data.
The second step is to create what are called filters.
Filters are basically instructions to Google Analytics to drop data, so if a spam site comes along you basically put this rule in place and Google doesn’t record it and it doesn’t show up in your view in that data that you’re seeing in your reports, and there are three kinds of filters that you can put in place.
One is there’s a Google bot filtering option that you can set on in your settings and Google actually drops some of the spam for you but not all of it.
The second one is what’s called a valid hostname filter.
In this case it’s a filter that says to Google only include data that has valid hostnames.
And the third filter is what’s called a campaign source filter.
So most of the spam data sends its information through in the form of a campaign which means it has a source and a medium so you actually use that source data which is that spammy URL that you see in your reports to say to Google don’t bother storing this, this is rubbish, I don’t want to see it.
So there are three kinds of filters that you need to set up.
The third step is to actually get rid of data, junk data from your old data because filters only start working from the time you set them up, so your previous data still has all that junk in there, so you need a way to actually clean up your old data as well.
To do that you create a custom segment.
So you use what you’ve learned about your junk data from setting up those filters to set up a segment that will actually hide it.
The data’s still in your account, but it hides while you’re looking at your reports.
So those are the three steps that you need to follow to clean up your Google Analytics data: one – create multiple views, two – create filters, and three – create a segment.
If you do those three things, your Analytics data will be much cleaner and you’ll be actually able to see what’s going on your website.
If you want more information on how to do these three things I’ve written a lengthy blog post for you, that details step-by-step exactly what you need to do with screenshots and explanations and instructions and tips to take you through the process.
If you work through that blog post step-by-step you’ll have significantly cleaned up your data and you’ll be able to actually see what’s going on on your website.
So I’ll put the link to the blog post in the description of this video and I would love it if you could check it out.
Have a great day!
Nikki, The Data Fairy
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