Jun 9, 2016

How to Block Your Own Pageviews from Google Analytics

How to Exclude your own page views from Google AnalyticsI am constantly being asked by other bloggers: “Why do my Blogger page views not match my Google Analytics page views?” and the answer is: Because crawlers and bots are recorded in Blogger analytics, while google analytics only records legitimate page views.

It can be a little depressing, since Blogger analytics can be orders of magnitude higher than Google Analytics (GA), but those page views aren’t real.  When search engines load your content in order to index it and add it to search engines, blogger analytics counts that as a page load.  But that is a computer program that isn’t actually ‘viewing’ anything.  On the other hand, google analytics records every time a script is loaded and your page is displayed in a browser window… TO SOMEONE READING IT.  The difference in those numbers can be dramatic.

For example, yesterday my Google Analytics registered just under 6,000 page views, while blogger was telling me I was close to 17,000.
As much as I wish the second number was correct, it just isn’t.  10,000 of those page views were not human readers.  At the end of the day I really do want to know how many REAL PEOPLE are reading my blog, not just how many times a computer has refreshed the content. 

I also hear about people who use Adsense page views for tracking analytics. This too is not accurate. Adsense “page views" are tracking when a page loads an ad, so ad free pages, or pages that are closed before the ad loads won’t count.

As much as it is awesome that search engines are finding my content and my ads are loading a certain number of times, when you tell brands or other bloggers or pretty much ANYONE who cares about how many page views your blog gets, they are talking about GOOGLE ANALYTICS.  Sharing numbers from any other source is incorrect and, dare I say, deceptive. 

If you aren’t using Google Analytics, which is the gold standard of analytics, go and install it right now.  If you are already using it, since you want to know what your readership numbers REALLY ARE, today’s post is for you.

When we are talking about people who have viewed your blog, you probably want to know how many OTHER people, not yourself.  I mean, if your blog is getting 10 million hits a month, your 2 or 3 or 10 extra views per day don’t matter. But if you are in the sub 6-digit monthly page views, those views may actually be significant.  Let’s say you pull up your blog to share links, or your review some changes you made to the layout by refreshing the page over and over, or you go through and edit old posts, opening them as you go..  If you are viewing your site 10-15 times a day, you are talking hundreds of extra views every month.  

So what can you do it about it?  

Luckily it is really easy to exclude your own page views from Google Analytics.  You just need to exclude your IP address, (obviously this won’t work if you are viewing your site on a different IP address like a coffee shop or library or mobile device) but if you do the majority of your blogging from home, this will get the majority of your extra page views.)

How do you find your IP?
Search for “What Is My IP Address?” on Google.  It will produce a number for you:
Ip address

Creating the IP Filter

Now you want to create a new filter for that IP.  Don’t worry, this isn’t too difficult.
Sign into your Google Analytics Account and select Admin.
GA admin2
If you have multiple blogs, select the one you want to work on, and in the ACCOUNT column, click on “All Filters"
Select all filters
Click the red +Add Filter  button 
Add filter
Now you need to name the filter. I called mine “Exclude myself” 

Filter Settings

For the filter type you want: Predefined
Then underneath that select “Exclude
For source or destination select: “Traffic from the IP addresses” and enter your IP address in the box below.
For expression you want: “that are equal to

In the boxes at the bottom you want to select “All Web Site Data” and click on the “Add>>” button.  This will shift it to the right.
When you are finished your filter should look like this: 
Filter settings

Once you are sure it is correct, hit “Save"

Checking your filter

Once you have your filter set up, you want to make sure it is working.  This is pretty easy.  It can take as long as 24 hours for filters to go into effect, you you may want to wait a day or two before checking them, but after a day has gone by you may notice these things:

First you may get this warning on your Analytics page: Filtered view warning
That is okay.

You also can click around your site while using real time analytics and you shouldn’t see yourself. (You can specifically look for you location or move from page to page and see if the number goes up by one etc)  If you get a lot of traffic, this may be difficult, so experimenting in the middle of the night (or whenever your page views are lowest) is a good idea.
Real time copy2

And that is all there is to it.  Now your analytics are cleaner and more accurate.  And even though they may not be as high as blogger’s stats, at least you have a good idea of who is ACTUALLY reading!