If you’re paying any attention to your website traffic, you have probably seen a nice upswing in traffic over the last few months; however, it’s not as good as it sounds. Once you dig a little deeper, you will unfortunately find that this traffic is probably coming from sources like Social-Buttons.com, Best-SEO-Offer.com, Semalt.com or Buttons-For-Your-Website.com—spam bots.
A spam bot is an automated computer program designed to send spam and, in this case, artificially inflate your website traffic numbers. This increase in spam traffic is causing Google Analytics to provide skewed data, and it is particularly concerning for small businesses; a few extra hundred visits can truly make a difference. On top of the skewed data, these bots could also cause a server load issue due to the increase in website visits, which would cause slow load times for real visitors, increasing the bounce rate and consequently lowering the websites ranking. Any way you look at it, it’s not good.
Now that we have established what they are and what they are doing, let’s talk about how to fix it! Google Analytics has taken the first step by creating a spam blocker within the platform. This is a good first step; however, the blocker will only catch the most popular bots, and there are new ones appearing daily. In addition to Google’s spam blocker, you can block spam bots from hitting your site by altering your .htaccess files in the root directory of your domain. Tips on how to alter the .htaccess file can be found here.
These two levels of security will decrease the spam traffic; however, it most likely won’t solve all of your issues. The final layer of security suggested to protect your website from spam bots is adding analytic filters. The spam your website is receiving will determine the filters you should create. For example, if you are a local Savannah business that doesn’t do much business outside of Chatham County and you are receiving a lot of traffic from Russia or Cambodia, you should add an analytic filter that filters out those countries. This article on Moz will give you step-by-step instructions on how to create a filter.
However, if you choose not to mess with it, you can have your web company handle it for you, if they have not done so already. And if you don’t have a web company, call us! Robmark Web is a Savannah web design company that specializes in website design, website maintenance, digital advertising, SEO and social media.