Filtering Out Bad/Bot Traffic in Google Analytics

A couple of weeks ago, we received an interesting email from the marketing team of a high traffic Joomla website: they told us that their traffic in Google Analytics was increasing substantially, and while they were excited about the issue, they were thinking that it was too good to be true, and so they wanted us to investigate the issue.

As usual, we gladly obliged. At first glance, we noticed nothing – everything was normal. On second glance, however, we noticed that they were receiving a huge amount of traffic from two not-so-huge cities: Boardman and Ashburn. Boardman, for example, is a city in Orgeon, and has a population of 3,220 – but they were receiving about 80K visitors each day from that city. Either the people in Boardman, OR are obsessed with this website and are accessing it from about 25 different devices each and every day, or not. Our first instinct was to go with the latter theory (“not”), and so we investigated the issue a bit more, and it turned out that the Amazon network was sending out automatic traffic from this city. This was also the same for Ashburn. But why would Amazon do that?

Additional investigation revealed that some anti-virus companies were using the Amazon network to scan each and every element that the user was seeing in order to ensure that everything was clean. So, for each person using some types of anti-virus and visiting our client’s website, there is another visit from a different IP using a different user agent from the Amazon network (sometimes, there are multiple bot visits). Clearly, that bot traffic was fake and needed to be excluded from Google Analytics. Here’s how we did it:

– We logged in to Google Analytics.
– We clicked on the settings icon at the bottom left.
– We clicked on All Filters
– We clicked on Add Filter
– We typed in “Amazon” in the Filter Name
– We chose “Predefined” for Filter Type
We chose “Exclude”, “traffic from the ISP domain”, “that contain” from the 3 dropdowns next to each other.
– We typed in “” in the ISP Domain field.
– We added the view under Apply Filter to Views and then we clicked on Save.

That’s it! After doing that, the traffic from Boardman and Ashburn was no longer included in Google Analytics (the effect was not retroactive though, so data from before the filter still included traffic from those cities).

We hope that you found our post useful. If you need help with the implementation, or if you need help investigating a similar issue, then all you need to is to contact us. Our fees are super affordable, our work is super clean, and our experience is proven!

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