If you would ask me what is the best Google Analytics resource, I would’nt think twice before sending you here. However, for the problem we had we found something different. I’m using Google analytics quite a lot on every site I work on. Recently we had a problem at one of my customers sites, where the marketing people working in that company were browsing their website all day, searching in Google their website keywords again and again, and made Google Analytics reports become unreliable. There were so many visits in the reports that were not real customers but our own staff, that we didn’t really know which part of the report was real and which part was our own tracks.
Like in every crime scene, we just needed our guys to put on gloves before touching everything…
The solution was very simple.
1. We created a file called disable_analytcis.php
2. In the site footer, next to the Google analytics code, we added this:
That was easy. The hard part was to send the link to disable_analytics.php to all the sales and marketing in that company and ask them to click on the link. They ALL wanted to know exactly WTF is going on here… are we spying on them? yes? no? what do you mean Google keeps track??? anonymous? who authorized this…
Once everybody got their cookie, our statistics cleared up. Real client analytics emerged and logs turned useful again. When you do it on your site, make sure your cookie gets to all computers, home computers, laptops and any computer that you don’t want to track.
update: (Thanks Pieter!)
Google offers cookie based filters, as described in Google Analytics Help Center:
Create an Exclude filter to remove data from visitors with this cookie. Follow these instructions to create a filter with the following settings:
Filter Type: Custom filter > Exclude
Filter Field: User Defined
Filter Pattern: disable_analytics
Case Sensitive: No