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Unnatural Direct Traffic to Homepage

Badged Google Partner
# 1
Badged Google Partner

We are seeing an unusually high amount of direct traffic to the our website homepage. This direct traffic has been going on for several months. It is primarily going to our homepage and leaving our site very quickly.

According to our Google Analytics, in January 2016 we had 27K direct visitors to our website. Of these 27K visitors, 25K of them went to the homepage and left after 4 seconds. This resulted in a bounce rate of 99%. This is very unnatural.

As a basis for comparison, in January 2015, we had 3,400 direct visitors. Of those, 1,300 went to the homepage. They stayed on the site for 4:11 resulting in a bounce rate of 47%.

This high bounce rate is negatively impacting our SEO.

According to our hosting company Rackspace, "These connections are probes against your website/server by hackers/crackers/etc. They occur with every website these days."

They identified two IP address from the sample of the log file they looked at. They blocked one of the IPs (124.6.156.82) from the Philippines in the hardware firewall. The other IP however was our own.

Our web developer is redirecting any incoming traffic (http) to a secure version of the page (https). Is it possible there is an issue with how this redirection is being done? Is there a way to test this redirection? If in fact the redirection is setup correctly, could the redirects be recorded as bounces by Google Analytics? Is there a way to prevent this?

Rackspace recommended using Cloudflare. Has anyone used them before? Any comments or feedback in terms of effectiveness and site impact?

2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Unnatural Direct Traffic to Homepage

Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 2
Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
Http to https is not redirection. And it doesn't affect the bounce rate in any scenario .
As per cloudflare tool is considered, I have not used it

Re: Unnatural Direct Traffic to Homepage

[ Edited ]
Rising Star
# 3
Rising Star

Hi Jeff, first of all, Bounce rate, or any metric in Google Analytics for that matter, don't have any influence on your SEO/Rankings. As for the direct traffic issue did you started using Amazon services, or any service around the time you started seeing this unnatural traffic.

 

Here is a couple of 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: Unnatural Direct Traffic to Homepage

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 4
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
often increase in direct is due to getting a lot of referrals to an http site form https sites as they are dumped into direct instead of referral.

Re: Unnatural Direct Traffic to Homepage

Rising Star
# 5
Rising Star
Clouflare is a good service, but if the problem is from your own IP address then the first thing you should try is an GA filter on your own IP address. Most spiders/hackers scanning your site won't trigger a GA view, and most referral spam traffic won't show as direct.

Follow these instructions to create an IP filter. One note of caution - always keep a profile filter-free (label it raw or unfiltered) and create a second profile for your filtered traffic.

See: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1034840?hl=en
_________________________________________________________________________
Director of Marketing | Nehmedia | Partner Profile

Re: Unnatural Direct Traffic to Homepage

Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 6
Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
Hi Philip. Can you please update me a bit about cloudflare?

Re: Unnatural Direct Traffic to Homepage

Rising Star
# 7
Rising Star
Cloudflare has an excellent overview page (https://www.cloudflare.com/overview/) and it is quite simple to set up as long as you have access to your own DNS. They are also very easy to work with and have a nice support page.
_________________________________________________________________________
Director of Marketing | Nehmedia | Partner Profile

Re: Unnatural Direct Traffic to Homepage

Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 8
Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
Thank you 😊