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A Fix for Google Analytics Spam - Why Your Analytics Traffic Numbers are Likely Wrong

A Fix for Google Analytics Spam - Why Your Analytics Traffic Numbers are Likely Wrong

Chances are, your Google Analytics Traffic numbers are being greatly distorted by the surge in web crawlers or spider bot programs.  Take a look at your Acquisition | All Traffic | Referrals section of your Analytics.  It's likely that your numbers have been soaring over the past few months.  A look at what source that is driving this "traffic" might include:

free-share-buttons.com

webmaster-traffic.com

buy-cheap-online.info

...or some other Ghost Referral Spam source.  You can usually tell by the name.  That and they will have 100% bounce rate.

Before you panic, this isn't going to penalize you or affect your rankings.  And it's not a security breach of your website.  In most cases, the bogus traffic is never even hitting your site at all.  It's messing with the google tracking mechanism.  However, it messes with your analytics data in sessions, sources and bounce rate distortions, and this can be a real pain when you are reviewing your traffic and making decision.

Google has taken notice and supposedly is working on a global solution, but in the meantime, here are some steps to take to reduce or remove the problem.

1) Log into Analytics.

2) Click "Admin" Up Top.

3) Click "View Settings" in the 3rd Column.

4) Check "Exclude all hits from known bots and spiders" in the "Bot Filtering" Section.

Google Analytics

*** this by itself is not fixing the problem, but is a setting that should be checked as a precaution while Google works on their solution

5) Most Important:  Visit the Google Analytics Solution Gallery and click "Import" on the latest Spam Bot Solution update available.  Don't forget to change the url to your domain in the Segments section per the instructions.

This is something that you'll have to check on a monthly basis since the solution gallery update is only as good as the last wave of spam bot urls listed.  They keep changing, so keep an eye on that Referral Traffic Tab for what is messing up your data.

Happy Spam Hunting!  If you need assistance with this or any digital marketing projects, call or email us.

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The Local SEO Landscape in 2014

The Local SEO Landscape in 2014

Most small business owners are aware that the local SEO landscape is changing rapidly, although most aren't aware how much it is changing.  Those that are aware often know because they embraced one SEO tactic that was hot for a while and now has been hit by a Google algorithim change like massive link building, social media bookmarking from abroad, or guest blogging black hat tactics.

What's often skipped and overlooked is good, sound digital marketing strategy for your local SEO

What we stress at Big Step Marketing and JoomlaSEOHelp.com is a return to your strategy and plan rather than any hot tactic.  We b2ap3_thumbnail_seo-strategy-keyword-chart.pngemphasize a well rounded approach, or at least the best approach that will fit in within your budget and goal.  Central to good strategy is organizing your keywords, synonyms, website pages and on-site and off-site local SEO placements (see example diagram).

There are very few "tactics" for your off-site local SEO that won't get abused and then reduced by one of the next Google algorithm changes, which are coming faster and more furious than ever before. 

In fact, if someone is evaluating our service against an email offer they received promising 1st page ranking at incredible prices, we try to inform them of the big picture, but the bottom line is that we are probably not a good fit.  They are more interested in the latest gimmick to rise quickly in the rankings. 

Most sites weren't designed to rank well, they were often purchased by price or because of appearance, and in almost every one of these cases the website was never set up properly or given a chance to rank as well as it could.

While Google, Bing and Yahoo and the overall landscape changes rapidly, good tried and true SEO won't change:

  1. Create a good strategy with consideration to your goal and budget
  2. Improve your on-site structure
  3. Update your site, blog and make your site relevant
  4. Categorize your pages by popularity, $ value and analyze how the convert.  Improve them.
  5. Connect with local citation sources or the broader market if your national or global
  6. Connect with social media
  7. Conduct smart off-site SEO, no gimmicks

Starting with good strategy and sticking to a sound digital marketing plan will serve you well for years to come, despite how fast the SEO landscape changes.

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