Part Four: Filtering Internal and International Traffic On Google

Image of Hale Soucie
Hale Soucie

Welcome back to Part Four in our Google Analytics Series. Over the last several weeks we have learned how to take preventative measures against Ghost and Crawler Spam. If you missed any of the last three posts you can find them here: Part One, Part Two, and Part Three. Now that we have addressed the issues of Ghost and Crawler Spam you should start seeing cleaner reports and hopefully getting a more accurate look at how well your website is functioning. While this is good progress, there are still a couple more things that we can do to verify that you are getting the best and most accurate data about your site. This week we will discuss how to filter Internal and International Traffic from your reports.

Anyone who is running a website should be frequently visiting the site to ensure that everything is working properly. Unfortunately every single one of these visits will be reported by Google Analytics. To make matters worse, any time anyone from your company visits the site, their visits will also be recorded. This may not seem like a big deal, but over time this Internal Traffic will start to add up and contaminate your reports.

In addition to traffic too close to home, traffic too far away is also an issue. Blocking Ghosts and Crawlers from your website should have led to decreased traffic from other countries, but if your site is anything like ours, you may still be seeing some overseas traffic. If your company does business internationally this is a good thing and you have nothing to worry about, however, if you only do business domestically, this International Traffic is useless and will skew the rest of your data.


Fortunately there are solutions for both of these issues and they each take only a few minutes to apply.

We’ll start with filtering out all Internal Traffic.


Filtering Internal Traffic


Filtering Internal Traffic is pretty straightforward. All you need to do is set up a filter to block traffic from your IP Address. To find your IP adress you can simply Google “my IP address.

To create an IP address filter:

  1. Go to the Admin tab for your Analytics Account.
  2. If you have multiple websites on your Analytics account, select the one you want to apply the filter to in the ACCOUNT Column.
  3. In the ACCOUNT Column, click All Filters.
  4. Click + Add Filter.
  5. Enter a name for the filter.
  6. Leave the Filter Type as Predefined.
  7. Click the Select filter type drop-down menu and select Exclude.
  8. Click the Select source or destination drop-down menu and select Traffic from the IP addresses.
  9. Copy and Paste your IP address into the dialogue box.
  10. Save your filter and apply it to your TEST View.

And you’re done! Check to make sure that the filter is working by having coworkers access your site while viewing the Real-Time Reporting and then move it on to your MAIN View.

Now that we have filtered out Internal Traffic its time to take care of International Traffic which is just as simple.


Filter International Traffic


Filtering International Traffic is as simple as creating another filter.

To create an International Filter:

  1. Go to the Admin tab for your Analytics Account.
  2. If you have multiple websites on your Analytics account, select the one you want to apply the filter to in the ACCOUNT Column
  3. In the ACCOUNT Column, click All Filters.
  4. Click + Add Filter.
  5. Enter a name for the filter.
  6. Select Custom for the filter type.
  7. Select Include as we will be choosing to only include traffic from the United States.
  8. In the Filter Field drop-down, select Country under the Location heading.
  9. For Filter Pattern, type “United States”
  10. Save the filter and apply it to your TEST View.

You have now successfully filtered all International Traffic from your Google Analytics. Unless you have contacts in another country you will not be able to test this view other than simply verifying you are no longer reporting traffic from other countries.

After you have verified you are no longer reporting international page visits and it is not affecting the functionality of your site you can move the filter to your MAIN View.


Tune in Next Week


Over the last four weeks we have taken steps to filter and block all irrelevant traffic from your Google Analytics account. If you have missed any of the previous posts you can find them on our Blog or through the links above. If you have been following along we commend you on taking steps to learn more about your website and filter out invalid traffic. As we have said every week:

Invalid traffic means inaccurate reports, and inaccurate reports can cost you money.

We hope that this post has helped you have a better understanding of how spam operates and can affect your website. Next week we will discuss how we will conclude our series on Google Analytics with more tips to improve your reporting. In the meantime if you have any questions about Google Analytics, spam, or any of Edifice Automotive’s services fill out the contact from below and we will be happy to assist you.




Words to Know

  • Ghost Spam- a kind of spaming that involves making repeated web site requests using a fake referrer URL to the site the spammer wishes to advertise
  • Crawler Spam- a type of spam generated by internet bots that browse websites and log information
  • Hostname- where a visitor arrives at your website, should be the same as your domain name
  • Source – how a visitor gets to your website, made up of three different types:
    • Referrals – a link from another website not including search engines
    • Organic – a link from an unpaid search engine listing, such as a Google search
    • Direct – a visit straight to your website by typing in your URL
  • .htaccess file – a directory-level configuration file supported by several web servers, used for configuration of site-access issues, such as URL redirection, URL shortening, Access-security control (for different webpages and files), and more.
  • Robot Exclusion Standardrobot.txt or Robot Exclusion Protocol, used by websites to tell web crawlers and other web robots what parts of the website not to process or scan
  • Referral Exclusion List – a list used to prevent duplicate referrals from third party services


Spammers, Crawlers and Bot Lists:

Google Analytics Resources:

Special thanks to Carlos Escalara for his information on Ghost and Crawler Spam.


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