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From: Jared Hamilton
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Brian Pasch

Brian Pasch CEO

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How To Fix Google Analytics Reports For Cobalt Websites Hit By MSN Bot

By Brian Pasch

Some Cobalt website users are seeing abnormal traffic spikes in Google Analytics which will throw off monthly analysis and reports.  PCG started seeing these odds spikes in May 2013 and we continue to see them as of September 2013.

DrivingSales.com members, like Chris K. Leslie, have also commented on this problem, and it was great to see Ellen Jones from Cobalt respond with advice on how to fix Google Analytics.  

It seems that Cobalt automotive websites are not the other ones being hit, you can read a similar story on this blog post.

I recorded this video to show you how to filter out the spam traffic from MSN.COM using the “Advanced Segment” feature in Google Analytics.  The traffic is not “hurting” your Cobalt website performance, but it will make analytics standard reports from Google Analytics useless.

We hope that you find this video helpful. The analytics reports that Cobalt provides customers will also have this “spam” filtered out so this only applies to Google Analytics users.

Watch The Google Analytics MSN Fix Video 

I hope you find the video helpful.  If you have any questions, please ask them here.  I look forward to seeing automotive professionals at the DrivingSales Executive Summit next month! 

 

Brian

Brian Pasch, CEO
PCG Consulting
732.672.2356
Google

Paul Rushing
User-agent: MSNBot Disallow: / In robots.txt is the fix. If that does not work have Cobalt block the bots ip address.
Paul Rushing
Another solution is to redirect the bot using .htaccess
Aaron Schinke
Hey Brian! Great post, this is something that we constantly battle but kudos for sharing as I'm sure it is going to be a global issue. Advanced segments are a great solution for looking back and eliminating that traffic, but there is also a way to avoid that bot traffic from ever being registered in analytics. I made a quick video with an explanation: http://screencast.com/t/l33q7KnWfcW Paul: While blocking the bot via .htaccess or robots.txt would work, you don't want to disallow access to bing as this is how they index your site. All you really want to do is block the traffic from registering in analytics. quick explanation of how in the video above!
Brian Pasch
Awesome video Aaron...this is a great suggestion and a great collaboration to help dealers.
Larry Schlagheck
Aaron, great post, and a great example of how a vendor organization can get involved on DrivingSales. When I first speak with any potential advertiser (on DrivingSales) I always start with the "free" stuff: Get involved on the platform, contribute to the blogs and forums, etc. Yet, like so many communities, it's 10% (max) that contribute the majority of content. Your post was a great example of how vendors can contribute, add value, and separate their thought leadership from the pack. Thanks for playing along!

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