Exclude all hits from known bots and spiders

Google recently launched a new function called "Exclude all hits from known bots and spiders". You can find, and turn it on, in your "view settings":

botfiltering

After you turn it on Google will exclude all the known bots from the IAB/ABC International Spiders & Bots List. So it's not some sort of smart bot-detecting algorithm, but a simple list. Note that Google was already ignoring a lot of bots simply because of the fact most bots don't execute javascript. Nowadays more and more bots do execute javascript to render a site to get a screenshot or to do some page load time measurements, so I think it's a good thing Google created this.

The impact

I turned this feature on for a lot of my clients. And for one of the biggest I did it only for a specific profile to see what the difference would be compared to the main profile. Here are some results:

  • 12.657 sessions where excluded, what counted for 0.03% of all sessions.
  • Most of the excluded sessions had Firefox 26.0 as browser.

Here's a list of all the 21 browsers (of a total of 1.700+) that had a different amount of sessions:

botdifference

Some of them are obvious bots, like the Adsense Snapshot bot from Google.

It's safe to say the impact is almost nothing. Bounce- and conversionrates will not significantly drop/rise if you turn this new feature on. So my advice would be: turn it on, it won't harm your data. And your data is a very very little bit more reliable 😉

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