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Identify bot traffic from referral traffic (via partner sites)

     
1:33 pm on Oct 12, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Is there something in Google Analytics that would help inform me if whether certain traffic from specific partner websites are indeed bots?

I've segmented by referral traffic, filtered by the partner website and I've looked secondary segments such as City, Hour, Browser, Country, etc - but it's not giving me enough information to say that 'yes, this is bot traffic'. It's certainly unusual traffic from the way it performs (bounce rate, clickers, conversion data (just a click of a button - so could be easily configured by the website owners who are sending us this traffic), avg. time on site etc). For example, our conversion rate, on a specific button is almost 96% - the rest of the site is 3%, so they are either sending us really targeted traffic or they are directing bots to click on the button on our page.

There doesn't seem to be an option to see the IP Address for each session in Google Analytics, but I suppose that comes under being personally identifiable information. Is there anything I should be looking at? Or am I on track?
4:12 pm on Oct 15, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Could be a bot, or could be manual clicks from a network of home workers who get paid for browsing and clicking on certain things. What you describe is extremely suspicious. Have you also looked at browser version #? Is the assortment of browser versions similar to what you see from the rest of your partners?

If it were me, and if I were paying the partner for conversions, I would drop them.
8:59 pm on Oct 15, 2015 (gmt 0)

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There doesn't seem to be an option to see the IP Address for each session in Google Analytics

?! Then get a different analytics program. Even if you obfuscate the last quadrant of an IPv4 (an option on piwik, don't know about others) you've got enough information to tell people apart.

Analytics, by its nature, doesn't actually track visits to your site. It tracks visits to the analytics file. Within the last couple of years, robots have figured out that they don't need to visit your site at all; they just need to go where the analytics live. This is obviously a problem with third-party programs like GA, because they can't really block anyone, the way you'd block visits to your own site.

When all is said and sifted, there's no substitute for looking at your raw access logs. Analytics can often give extra information, but don't rely on any analytics package as the only source of information.
 

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