Does Google Analytics Track Visits From Search Engine Crawlers? Nope!

by Michael Stearns from HEROweb on April 5, 2012

A frequent question I get from customers is whether their Google Analytics data is skewed by all the traffic their site gets from search engine crawlers. The simple answer is – No. Let me explain in more detail.

Your website receives a barrage of traffic from a multitude of automated programs. The major search engines have crawlers (sometimes called spiders or bots) that systematically and relentlessly visit websites to index pages and gather data for their search engines.

Googlebot and Bingbot are two of the biggies. Our servers get pummeled by scores of other crawlers. The traffic from these crawlers can place a big load on our servers and cause all kind of headaches. But they rarely impact your Analytics data. Why is that?

The reason is  that the Google Analytics tracking is activated by a javascript that is placed on every page of your site. Rarely does a crawler recognize or process the scripts on your pages, so the traffic from these sources – as well as traffic from any other visitors with javascript disabled – will not show up in Google Analytics.

In general it is a good thing that the traffic from automated spiders does not make its way into Google Analytics. Some people argue that Analytics data is inaccurate because ALL traffic from real visitors is not accurately recorded. We will save that topic for another discussion.

 

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  • elmers17

    I like your article. Thanks for sharing this to us. This will surely help many analyst to stop the thing they do if they do that kind of thing, Really helpful.

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  • L.A. Lady

    I was wondering about this. Glad to know my GA data is fairly accurate. Thanks!

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