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Learn to identify referral spam traffic, as well as best practices to reduce referral spam in your Google Analytics account
 
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Direct Traffic absurdly high

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

There is something weird going on with our direct traffic results and I can't figure out why. Over the past year our direct traffic accounts for 70% of our total traffic. 110k direct vs 22k organic search. 

 

I have set up internal IP address filters, "ghost spam" hostname filters, accounted for crawler bots.

 

Our page metrics looks good, but direct traffic to the home page is skewed, 96% bounce rate and avg. time on page of 14 seconds. ANy suggestions on what might be causing this, or what else I could dig through for more info?

 

Thanks in advance

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Direct Traffic absurdly high

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 2
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
Hi Alex,

Do you send out emails. If you send out emails and the landing URLs from these emails doesn't contain the GA campaign tracking parameters, then the email traffic from the non-web based email tools (Outlook) will show up as Direct.

Re: Direct Traffic absurdly high

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
We do send out emails, but I've looked at open and CT rates and the numbers don't add up. I think it may be something else.

Re: Direct Traffic absurdly high

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 4
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
Check Geolocation reports for this direct traffic and if any country in there doesn't make sense, then add an exclude filter for this country.

Re: Direct Traffic absurdly high

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Ah yes. Another good point. 99% in the US though.

Re: Direct Traffic absurdly high

[ Edited ]
Rising Star
# 6
Rising Star

Hi Alex,

Here are a few related topics in the community that might help you
https://www.en.advertisercommunity.com/t5/Referral-Spam-Traffic/Invalid-Bot-Traffic-from-Chrome-Bros...
https://www.en.advertisercommunity.com/t5/Referral-Spam-Traffic/Receiving-Direct-Traffic-From-Networ...
https://www.en.advertisercommunity.com/t5/Referral-Spam-Traffic/Huge-amount-of-quot-fake-quot-visito...

Hope it helps,

Google Analytics Rising Star | Was my response helpful? If yes, please mark it as the 'Best Answer.' Learn how here!
Analytics Consultant at Carloseo.com - Find me on Twitter | Email me

Re: Direct Traffic absurdly high

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
I had a client who experienced a similar issue. Since Jan 2015 their Direct Traffic (primarily to the homepage) suddenly began to increase dramatically and continued throughout 2015. And likewise their Bounce Rates began to increase as well. Similar to you, we attempted to set up a few different filters to get rid of ghost spam, referral spam, bot spam, etc. But the impact was minimal.

After further digging into their GA, I was able to isolate some potential culprits . Their site was being hit with large volumes of traffic that was using old Flash versions and Old Chrome Browser versions(bots?). These unusual surge of consistent Direct traffic also had bounce rates of 97-100%. These were the Old Flash Version and Old Chrome Browser Versions that appeared to be causing their headaches:
Flash Version: 11.5 r502
Chrome Browser 18.0.1025.168
Chrome Browser 39.0.2171.95
Chrome Browser 43.0.2357.130
They are continuing to explore this issue but for the time being, I simply created a GA segment to Exclude this questionable traffic.

Here's another related postings:
https://www.en.advertisercommunity.com/t5/Referral-Spam-Traffic/Flash-Version-11-5-r502-Bot-Traffic-...
https://www.en.advertisercommunity.com/t5/Referral-Spam-Traffic/Invalid-Bot-Traffic-from-Chrome-Bros...
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:xxJ0FV7IX6AJSmiley Tongueroductforums.google.com/d/topic/web...

Re: Direct Traffic absurdly high

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thanks Derek. Yeah I'm seeing something similar. I've just been excluding traffic with a page duration under 1 second. This excludes 85% of traffic, but what I'm left with looks very healthy.