Have you recently launched a new Bing account and seen a spike in visits to your site?
I was able to narrow it down in Google Analytics to one particular browser called “Microsoft Corp” that was related to an MSN network domain. Looking at the browser versions and the network domain, visitors from this “Microsoft Corp” were showing a 100% bounce rate to the tune of some 3,000 visits in only a few hours. 100% bounce rate is usually a good sign that it’s a bot and not a human coming to your site. Usually Google Analytics filters this traffic out but for some reason for the last year this has been going on, Google hasn’t and doesn’t seem to have a fix for this issue.
So when we launched a new Bing account, our site got slammed with MSN bot cralwers. For the uninitiated, the Network Domain reveals the domain of a users ISP. I’d expect to see T-Mobile.co.uk, Sky.com, Virginm.com, btcentralplus.com, which are all UK based ISPs. However, the fact that this one ISP, Microsoft Corporation–> msn.com, is sending thousands of visits with a 100% bounce rate fits the pattern of crawler traffic, which Google Analytics hasn’t automatically filtered out.
The fix I came up with was to adds a filter* that removes traffic from the Network Domain msn.com (screenshot above). Login into your Google Analytics and head to the Admin –> All Filters. Build a custom filter that excludes ISP Domain: msn.com. That should filter out all the bad traffic. One thing to note is that filters are not retroactive and only start once you’ve added them to your profile.
*If you’ve never added filters to your Google Analytics before. You should create a duplicate profile that has all your raw data. You should always have a profile that has raw data and a second profile that has all the information from the first profile along with your filters. Once you filter data out of Google Analytics, there is no way to get it back. That’s why you always want a second profile to run filters on, so you can compare it to the raw data profile for mistakes in the future.