Google Analytics Hacks: How to Identify Fake Visitors in Your Google Analytics Account

How to Identify Fake Users in Your Google Analytics Account

When You Know Your Data is Accurate: Real People, Real Behaviors

When You Know Your Data is Compromised: Fake People, Real Behaviors

When You’re Unsure: Real People, Unknown Behaviors

How to Identify Fake Google Analytics Visitors

  • Publishing Content for the Purpose of Tracking Fake Users
  • Goals are special pages on your site that are designed to direct your site visitors to complete a desired action.
  • Google Analytics counts these goals as page views, so if you want to track your site visitors, you can create a page with a goal and track their progress through that page.
  • When you create a page with a goal, you can select from a list of pre-made goal types.
  • One of the most common goal types is the “page view” goal.
  • Faking User Activity Through Browser Extensions
  • Some people create fake browser extensions that prompt your site visitors to click on your site’s menu items or fake page views in order to lift your site’s analytics data.
  • Fortunately, Google has started to crack down on fake browser extensions, so if you see a sudden spike in page views or menu clicks, it could be a sign that your data has been compromised.
  • When Google Analytics is Hacked: Dark visitors and Ghost Behaviors
  • One of the most common anomalies you may notice is a sudden spike in your “dark traffic” numbers.
  • Dark traffic is the term used to describe the portion of your site data that you can’t see. It is often caused by malicious code on your site that interferes with your Google Analytics code.
  • When Google Analytics is hacked, you may also notice that your data has been manipulated to create ghost “navigation paths” and “page views.”
  • Ghost paths are a collection of fake site visitors that are designed to look like real visitors.
  • A ghost path is created when a specific “URL”, or web address, is entered into Google Analytics multiple times.
  • Ghost paths are often used by website owners who want to artificially boost their page views and visitor numbers.
  • When Google Analytics is hacked, you may also notice that your data has been manipulated to create ghost “page views.”
  • A page view is an event that occurs when someone accesses your site’s menu pages or secondary pages.
  • When Google Analytics is hacked, you may see a sudden spike in your page view numbers.
  • A sudden spike in your page view numbers may indicate that someone has hacked your Google Analytics account.
  • When Google Analytics is hacked, you may also notice that your data has been manipulated to create ghost “navigation paths.”
  • Avoiding Fake Google Analytics Data
  • Start by checking your data for signs of ghosts. If you notice an unusually large number of ghost paths, it could be a sign that your Google Analytics data has been hacked.
  • Next, look for data anomalies. If you notice a sudden spike in your page view numbers or dark traffic, it could be a sign that someone has hacked your Google Analytics account.
  • Finally, check for signs of fake users. If you notice an abnormally high number of page views from a single IP address, it could be a sign that someone has created a fake browser extension that prompts your site visitors to click on your site’s menu items or pages.

When Google Analytics is Hacked: Dark visitors and Ghost Behaviors

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