Bots gone wild

Jan 13, 2017
Over the last month or so I saw loads of bot traffic URLs appearing in a few clients anaytics, this always redirected to gamma traffic. You have probably seen it. I didnt care too much as it was not an issue


Over the last few days traffic is WAY up and its direct traffic, it has to be bots, the time on site is dreadful and it doesnt buy anything. We are getting hammered by bots.

Im not sure what to do here, it looks bad as I wonder if it looks to the client like I am trying to fake traffic (Id do a better job of it).

Does anyone have any moves to deal with this? Is anyone getting hammered by bots at the moment? They are showing up in GA under direct traffic and all appeaer to have a USA identifer


Sep 3, 2014
There was a new network of fake traffic recently. I don't think they actually visit the site, which makes it easy to filter. But the problem is you can't catch it (and neither does Google) right when it starts, and you can't filter it out of your past traffic. So the analytics will always have that crap in it, sadly.

Recently it was crap like and There was maybe 5 or 6 of these referral domains. You can create a new view in Google Analytics (so your main one is always intact) and apply Filters to it.

You can search for this topic and find walkthroughs, but you'll want to do stuff like using an "exclude filter" on the campaign source with a filter pattern like|| where you use a pipe | to separate the domains (without www or https).

You can also filter out your internal IP addresses. Another good one is to only include traffic that derives from one of your hostnames. Otherwise you can get hit by "ghost hosts" who are just pinging your analytics ID (this is what all these do, just hit each ID in sequence). You would include by Hostname and set up a filter pattern like .*|.*|.*|.* etc., where you see the pipes | again and the .* which is regex.

There's ways to take care of almost all this spam. They've gotten more clever lately, even filling out their domain names as Languages or even Organic Keywords, which aren't as straight forward to get rid of.

In this recent rash of fake traffic, I got rid of most of it as described above but couldn't block all of it. Within a few days Google Analytics managed to stop it or at least filter it. I'm not sure exactly where they tuck it in the dashboard but there's a checkbox that says "I want Google to filter bot traffic for me" and it does pretty good. But they can't catch anything before it happens either.