DoctorLogic imports reporting data directly from Google Analytics (GA) each day. The data in DoctorLogic and GA is usually consistent, however, there are circumstances in which the data can differ. This article will breakdown known discrepancies so you can better interpret the data for your site.
Google Analytics captures all data it receives associated with your Google Analytics Tracking ID (sometimes called a UA code). By default, Google does NOT require that the reporting data originates from your hostname. This means that anyone on the Internet can fire corrupt data to your Google Analytics Tracking ID, without your permission, and potentially skew your analytics data with bad data. Once the analytics data is corrupted, there is no way (via GA) to remove it. The only option in GA is to use a series of segments and views to filter it out.
Many customers that regularly use GA, will notice that the data reported in the DoctorLogic Performance Dashboard may appear lower that GA. This is because DoctorLogic only imports GA data collected for valid hostnames (aka domains). If we encounter analytics data fo an unknown/invalid hostname in GA, we will ignore it and NOT import it into our database. We also filter out traffic to staging or test versions of your site so they do not artificially inflate the number of sessions/visits occurring on your site. Since the staging and test versions are on an alternate domain, we're able to easy filter this out. We do all of this to ensure that we provide the most accurate representation of performance on your actual site.
It's very common to see "ghost referrers" or referral spam in Google Analytics. 99.9% of the time they’re not linking directly to your site but rather generate fake hits / traffic using your Google Analytics tracking ID. Their goal is to trick users into visiting spammy websites. If you open one of these URLs in your browser, you will likely be redirected to an online store, marketing scam or malware site. The goal of referral spam is to mess with your Google Analytics data to drive traffic to shady websites. Their goal is to perk your curiosity and get you to come to their site, resulting in more traffic for them. If you open one of these URLs in your browser, you will likely be redirected to an online store, marketing scam or malware site.
Since referral spam is a common problem, DoctorLogic uses a number of filtering techniques to filter out spammy traffic so that it is not included in your Performance Dashboard. Our filtering software generally filter out 95% of all referral spam we see across the sites we manage. If we see the same hostname responsible for referral spam across multiple sites, we'll take action to have it blocked globally. Since new spammy sites pop up every day, it's a never ending cat & mouse game to stay on top of these sites.
We regularly see third-parties use automated bots or scripts to crawl to aggressively crawl our customers' websites. When these bots crawl a website they can cause massive surges in traffic which can skew website performance. We constantly monitor data from Google Analytics and regularly filter out traffic from known bots and crawlers which could impact the accuracy of your website traffic.