Using Fou Analytics to inform GA segments

Look for patterns & characteristics then filter out the bad data

By Cassie Stox   Media Director, Insight seeker, All views are my own

One of the easiest ways to remove ad fraud from your website metrics is to use advanced segments in Google Analytics to “weed out” the non-human traffic so it does not falsely inflate your on-site metrics. Hopefully you are doing a good job of managing placements to negate as much of this traffic from even hitting your site, but some always comes through, even via non-advertising sources such as organic search. 

Advanced segments are a subset of your analytics data. It is made up of one or more filters that do not alter the underlying data. These filters isolate subsets of users, sessions, and hits. For this exercise, you want to filter sessions based on criteria that is deemed as non-human. When you apply an advanced segment and navigate through your analytics reports, the advanced segment remains active until you remove it. 

What to include in the advanced segment?

Fou Analytics has a TON of data about device characteristics, platform, operating systems that can be used to inform a GA advanced segment. When looking at the in-ad report, and isolating for confirmed bots, look for common attributes across multiple placements, for instance the Linux x86_64 platform, which is an operating system commonly used by bot networks. Research the platform to understand what this operating system is traditionally used for. You are looking for characteristics that are shared by identified bots but are rarely shared by non-bots. Those are candidates to add to a filter to exclude from traffic reports. Because we are looking at banner-based impressions (via Fou Analytics dashboard), you can add the additional layer of paid banner traffic to the exclusion. 

In this example a display campaign was found to be driving traffic that was clearly identified as bots, so an advanced segment was developed to exclude this traffic from the site analytics.

Another quick win – filter sessions to exclude any traffic with 0-bit screen colors.

By connecting the insights from Fou Analytics to your Google Analytics, you can clean up reporting and have a better view of the true metrics of your campaigns.