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Traffic spikes due to visitors misspelling another popular domain; ways to filter these visits out?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Our domain is spelled very similarly to the domain for the popular music streaming site We have an unusual situation in that we regularly see huge spikes in our organic and direct traffic when there is news in the music industry; for example, this past week or so with Prince's passing and when Beyoncé released her newest single.


We discovered this relationship after seeing a number of interesting site search queries that are completely unrelated to our product or industry. I'm in the process of creating a custom segment to filter out the visits that include these site searches, though this seems a bit unwieldy since we'll probably have to update it regularly with additional terms as different artists release new song titles.


This traffic, which is often times 3-4x as many sessions as our average, obviously impacts our data. Beyond number of sessions and new visitors being inflated, our bounce rate and session duration also take a hit. I'm just not sure that I can do much else beyond using the site search terms to filter these aberrant session out and try to determine user intent (or bad autocorrect) when they do a search using "tidel" instead of "tidal."


So my questions are: 

1) Am I missing another metric that I might check to help me single out these "mistaken sessions?"

2) Is there another solution besides a custom segment that I might try to filter these sessions out?

3) I'm curious as to whether anyone else has had this issue? I'd expect this has occurred before on some level with some sites, .com versus .net situations coming to mind. I don't see anything related to this when I search on Google or on these forums.


Thanks, Jackie


Re: Traffic spikes due to visitors misspelling another popular domain; ways to filter these visits o

Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 2
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Jackie,
IMO you should implement Search term exclusions.

"You can exclude specific search terms from being identified in your Analytics account. When users find your site using an excluded term, that traffic isn’t included as search traffic in your reports. Instead, it’s counted as direct traffic"

How to implement & more info @

Hope this helps.


Re: Traffic spikes due to visitors misspelling another popular domain; ways to filter these visits o

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Santosh, thanks for your reply and suggestion.

The only search engine query that is a little questionable for us is our own domain, actually, so I wouldn't want to exclude that term completely.

We don't share any similar keywords with this other domain - our industry is completely different, so we would never show up for their common queries or vice versa. The only issue would be when a searcher misspells one domain or the other. While this might happen occasionally on a regular basis, we see huge spikes when they have news.

We also wouldn't necessarily want to count those organic searches as direct traffic, as the article says, because we would still have drastically inflated numbers. (And our direct traffic already sees an increase during these occasions as people misspell the domain when typing it in directly.)