9/26/2014

Google Analytics: How to filter out "Amazon Technologies / Boardman" bot that creates inaccurate stats

My work server has been getting clobbered lately by some bot program at Amazon.com.

As a result, our Google Analytics visitor and Pageviews are off by thousands each month.
While it might look good in the numbers, it is terribly inacurate as far as real-world visitors are concerned. 

How to Check for Amazon's Awful Bot

Data proving this can be found in Analytics in a number of ways:

Check Method #1

Analytic Reporting > Audience >  Geo > Location > [ Explorer ] tab
     > United States > Oregon > City 

If you see a ton of visits from "Boardman," then your server is getting inundated by Amazon's servers, too.

Check Method #2

Analytic Reporting > Audience >  Technology > Network  

You will likely find, under "Service Provider," two listings for:
  • amazon.com inc.
  • amazon technologies inc.

Check Method #3

Analytics Reporting > Behavior > Site Content > All Pages
     > [ Seconary Dimension] button > Network Domain

You will likely see amazonaws.com 

How to Filter out Amazon's Run-Amok Bot

So, now that you are sure that some bot on Amazon's server is messing with your stats, you can create a Google Analytics filter.

Filtering is not as obvious as it should be, but creating one is not hard.

First, you need to be logged in as a User with the ability to Edit.

Next, go to the [ Admin ] tab at the top.
Make sure your domain is selected.
Click on  [ All Filters ] tab on the left.
Click on [ + NEW FILTER ] button.




Now, you're going to make two filters,
If you happen to live in Oregon or need to include the city of "Boardman," then perhaps only the first one.

Filter #1:

Filter Name: "AmazonAWS (bots)"
Filter type: Custom filter
Choose: Exclude
Filter Field: "ISP Organization"
Filter Pattern (very specific & without quotes): "amazon technologies|amazon\.com"
Case Sensitive: No
[ Add >> ] YourDomainName.com
Click [ Save ].

Filter #2: 

Filter Name: "Boardman (bots)"
Filter type: Custom filter
Choose: Exclude
Filter Field: "City"
Filter Pattern (very specific & without quotes): "Boardman"
Case Sensitive: No
[ Add >> ] YourDomainName.com
Click [ Save ].


That should take effect in a few hours.

The existing data will not be affected retroactively -- meaning, the Amazon / Boardman filters will only be applied to data from this point on.

You can check to see if it's working by doing the checks above in two days.
If the counts for the bots have dropped significantly or gone to zero, then you know your stats are being filtered and should be back on track ... at least for a little while.

Comment below and let us know if this worked for your.

10 comments :

  1. Thank you. This was the best article I could find regarding filtering Amazon bots. For our site the city was Ashburn, VA rather than Boardman. I'm so happy this is cleaned up.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks so much for this. For others who land on this article, I actually learned that the bot visiting our site was in fact intentionally put there by one of our developers to "smoke test" the site every 30 minutes. I ended up removing my "amazon technologies inc." filter and replacing it with a filter for a specific IP address given to me by the developer.

    So, if you're having this issue, maybe talk to the engineering team and see if they're the cause - you might be able to create much more precise filters, and hopefully create a relationship where they'll think to notify you of any changes. :-)

    ReplyDelete
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  4. Great article - thanks! This happened to me just a couple hours ago. Also, why exactly is this Amazon bot crawling my website?

    ReplyDelete
  5. thanks for that information. am not an expert but i filtered out all linux OS instead, which includes the bots from Boardman and other places. things you may also consider filtering out is:
    1-your IPs to exclude yourself.
    2-only include specific countries or cities
    3-exclude your subdomains or separate them
    4-exclude your name if associated with your business and your brand name, so it doesn't count as organic traffic.
    5-separate your direct organic traffic from subpages, this helps explain where your visitors are coming from (e.g google images)
    6-monitor your traffic for other spam websites to exclude by network is usually best, i think.

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  7. I am having the same problem. Thank you for the info but can someone help me?
    When implementing the filter according to the screenshot above, I do not see the filter field "ISP Organization".
    I do see the filter "ISP domain" but it does not work when I use this one. Can it be that I have a different version of Analytics?
    Can someone please take a look at the script on the website here.
    Thanks in advance.

    ReplyDelete
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