Do you need to become an SEO Hero now after election season is over? We have been through a brutal season of politics this year, and now the spammers are jumping on board with unwanted results showing up in our Google analytics reports for clients. If you are like me – it becomes very frustrating to see unwanted politics showing up in a client’s Google analytics reports. There is nothing new under the sun. Spammers are always creating new ways to infuse their signature into analytics.
Here are 2 filters you can employ, one to clean up past data, the other to fix the analytics data more effectively for situations going forward.
Install a language segment filter
Spammer unwanted analytics showing up by changing the browser language setting.
Changing the language setting is the latest technique for spammers, that many of you may have seen in your analytics data. Setting their browser language definition to a long phrase such as:
“Secret.Google.com You are invited! Enter only with this ticket URL. Copy it. Vote for Trump!”
If you need to get rid of past data in your analytics with the above phrase, then set up a segment filter. The best way to get rid of this past unwanted Analytic data is to create a segment filter for this peculiar language.
The following steps will guide you through the setup”
1) While viewing your audience overview- hit the add segment
2) Then hit the “New Segment” button as shown below
Once the New segment filter comes up go through the following steps:
1) Name the filter- I called this one “Language filter”
2) Hit the Sequences button- that will bring up the view on the right
3) Default comes up as “include”, so you need to select “Exclude”
4) Hit the drop-down arrow, start typing at the top “language” or scroll down and find language under the first users section.
5) Using the drop-down arrow select “contains”
6) Next type a portion of the long phrase such as “Secret.google.com” this is enough for the filter
7) Finally Save the filter
You can then clean up the political data from your November reports with this segment view for past data. However, going forward, you will want to prevent this data from even getting into your client’s analytical world at all- no matter which political party they are from.
Install a hostname filter
It is important to note here- that you should always check and verify your filter on a test view first- rather than the client’s real data. This will allow you to verify that the filter was entered correctly for your situation before moving to your production analytics data view.
The following steps will help you set up a more permanent political spammer filter:
1) Select and view the Admin area
2) Select your test view- if you don’t have one- it is best to create on before proceeding
3) Select filter- where we will be adding a new filter to the data.
Once you are in the filter section- Hit “add filter”
Next we will define the hostname filter.
1) Select Create new filter
2) Give the filter a name- such as “Include only hostname”
3) Select “Custom” filter type
4) Next select the “include” filter, this is important to include rather than exclude the hostname
5) In the drop-down filter field- find and select “Hostname”
6) For a Filter pattern, you want to use your domain name here. For this example, I am using www.example.com so the placing a “\” in front of the periods makes the filter more generic. www\.example\.com
7) Hitting verify this filter will bring up analytics data from the past 7 days if it exists to show the impact of applying this filter to your data in the last 7 days.
8) Save the filter- and it will be active for your test data.
Before you prove you are an SEO Hero, you may want to test this for a couple days to see that you have not harmed any of your regular analytics data. Once you are comfortable, that the filter is correct for your client- then you can move the filter to your production analytics.