What Are Skewed Analytics?
Skewed analytics are the result of activity and interaction data of your web traffic that are erroneous due to a high volume of non-human traffic. Skewed analytics happens when bot-generated traffic is significant and is counted in with human activity leading to erroneous conclusions and ultimately bad business decisions. For example, a website owner needs to determine whether a certain campaign is driving web traffic or helping to convert web visitors into customers. Since bot traffic can account for 40 to 50 percent of traffic to a site, it can lead the website owner to make erroneous conclusions and over- or under-invest in a campaign as a result. To make sound decisions it is critical that analytics are not skewed or polluted by bot activity - good or bad.
Skewed Analytics Is a Massive Problem
As commerce continues to shift online, digital marketing spend is also following suit. With bots often accounting for up to half of web traffic, losses from bad business decisions made due to skewed analytics can be significant, ranging from millions to a few billion dollars. Bots skew many KPIs and metrics, including user tracking and engagement, session duration, bounce rates, ad clicks, look-to-book ratios, campaign data and conversion funnel. For e-commerce, travel and media sites, unauthorized scraping bots mimic humans by dynamically checking listings, pricing and content resulting in skewed data.
Fighting Skewed Analytics Is a Complex Task
Many marketing professionals are under the assumption that Google Analytics is filtering out bot traffic. Google Analytics is good at filtering SPAM and some crawlers, but today’s bots are far more sophisticated, and as a result, are not reliably handled by built-in capabilities. Filtering out sessions within Google Analytics is a complex and time-consuming operation that can sometimes exclude good user traffic. Most companies do not recognize the problem and continue making decisions using polluted data.