I got the following question about Russia and her website analytics from a childbirth educator and doula in Texas who is considering joining the SEO Birth Plan eCourse. I thought I’d go ahead and share my answer with all of you! If you are not in the least bit interested in your analytics, you can blissfully ignore this post altogether, but if you’re an analytics geek like me, enjoy!
Will you show how to get real searches and not the hundreds of fake searches from other countries that are meaningless?
YES! Of course our focus will be on creating authentic search results that will bring more local families into your care.
So what about all that traffic from Russia on your site???
Unfortunately, Russia is showing up a lot in the news these days, and I’m amused that even here on my Website Doula blog it needs to be a topic of conversation. Here’s the deal:
If you have Google Analytics set up on your site to track traffic, or your website builder includes analytics, you may have noticed that a fair proportion of the search results you get are coming from eastern Europe, especially Russia. Since it’s fair to assume these are not local families seeking doula care or a childbirth class, you are likely wondering what these are all about.
Short Answer: They are SPAM
Long Answer: See Below
These visits to your website are coming from a few different types of traffic, most of it spam, and much of it originating in Russia. The ones that are valid are actually “bots” – virtual tools that crawl the internet on behalf of search engines assessing website content to figure out how you rank in search (we’ll talk a bit more about this in lesson one of the SEO Birth Plan eCourse). These are less likely to show up in your search results, but are sometimes reflected in your analytics.
The rest? Spam, SPAM, spam. Some are essentially spamming your Google analytics account hoping that you’ll be curious enough to click on their link (don’t!). For example, I was intrigued (actually, troubled…) to find spam links showing up in my analytics during USA election telling me to vote for Trump. Others are websites that serve to cruise other websites looking for information; these could be infected with viruses so should not be clicked on either. Basically, if you see suspicious traffic showing up in your analytics results, DO NOT CLICK!
So What Can You Do?
Well, your first choice it to simply ignore it, and avoid clicking on those link referrals in your analytics results. Still, this fake traffic can skew your analytics results and prevent you from getting real information on how your website is working for you. In 2014 Google added a feature to allow you to block spam traffic from your analytics. You’ll need to do the following:
1. Log in to Google Analytics and open the analytics for your site
2. Click on Admin in the top menu bar of Google Analytics
3. Click on View Settings in the right hand column
4. Check the Bot Filtering box to exclude hits from known bots.
To learn more about search analytics and other important factors that can influence how your site shows up in search, check out new Search Engine Optimization for Doulas eCourse!