5 Changes You Need to Make to Your Google Analytics Account Right Now!

6:00:00 PM

If you have your own website, then you already know how important it is to make sure your tracking your data with Google Analytics. And even more than that, you need to make sure that you're protecting your Google Analytics account too!

Unfortunately, I didn't know that and I learned the hard way! This month, I was putting together the information for my monthly "Blog Stats & Income Report" and I realized that none of my numbers made sense. That's when I realized, I had been hacked :(

So, being the DIY diva that I am, I immediately began my research. I needed to learn how to not only fix my account stats, but also learn how to protect my account from future spam. 

Ultimately, I learned that there are five changes you need to make to protect your Google Analytics account to ensure that all of the data you're collecting is not only correct, but that it's only coming from your website.

1. Create a valid hostname filter
The first thing that I learned is that you need to create a valid hostname filter. The reason being, you want to ensure that you're only tracking hits that come from your website and nowhere else. 

A hostname is the domain name that a visitor is on when Google Analytic tracks a session. So for Perfectly Ambitious, my hostname is perfectlyambitious.com.

If you have one or more subdomains, you will also want to include these in your valid hostname filter too. When you do this, you'll need to create a regression expression similar to this one:


Just make sure that you are including a vertical break between each domain and a back slash before any period. 

Of course, it's always a good idea to verify your filters and test them as trial segments before making any permanent changes!

2. Enable bot filtering
If you haven't already, you'll want to check the box in your view settings that will exclude all hits from bots and spiders in your Google Analytics data.

By doing this, you give Google Analytics permission to filter out any and all of the bots and spiders that they currently have on their ongoing list. Whether or not these bots actually visit your site, they do skew your data and they can pollute your website analytics. So it's important to get rid of them!

3. Make sure that you're excluding internal traffic
I don't know about you, but I'm constantly on my own website. Whether it's to reread a blog post for editing errors or to share a link, I'm almost positive that I add over a hundred views to my monthly pageviews. Luckily though, I've figured out a way to exclude internal traffic on my Google Analytics reports!

To do so, you'll need to create another filter using the IP addresses from each of your digital devices. In some cases, both your phone and your computer will have the same IP address, but if you have devices at home and work, you may have more than one IP address.

In any case, you'll need to find the IP address on each of your devices.  To do this, all you need to do is to log into that device, head to Google.com, and search "What's my IP address?" Once you've done that, you'll need to create another regression expression using all of your IP addresses, similar to this one:

12\.345\.67\.890    OR    12\.345\.67\.890|09\.876\.53\.321

Just make sure that you are including a vertical break between each domain and a back slash before any period.

4. Exclude all crawler and language spam
Now, if you're looking to get rid of the most common forms of spam shown on Google Analytics, then this is the most important step!

Just like we did with the "Valid Hostnames Filter," we are going to follow the same procedure to create your crawler and language spam filters.

The two crawler spam filters that I use are as follows:



Make sure to create one filter for each expression! And to make sure that you have the most frequent updated expressions, you can sign up for alerts here

In order to create a language spam filter, you will need to use the following expression:


Please note, that you will select different options from the drop down menu for the language spam filter. See below image for guidance.

5. Filter spam out of all historical data
This last step is essential when looking at your previous Google Analytics Data. Since the filters only work against the incoming data, you will still see the corrupt data when you look back at your stats.

Of course, we can fix this! You just need to apply all of the above filters to your historical data in the form of a segment!

To do this, you'll need to head to your "Reporting" tab, select "All Users," and click the red "+New Segment" button. Then follow the instructional image below!

And there you have it! Once you've made these 5 changes to your Google Analytics account, you'll be on your way to having a safer and more accurate GA experience!

If you found this post helpful, please make sure to share it! Just copy the link or use the easy sharing buttons that I've added for your convenience!

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  1. Thank you for this information Ivy! Heading over to Google Analytics soon to make these changes!