Removing ‘c’ (Bot traffic) in Google Analytics language reports
Quite often you will see the term "c" in Google Analytics language reports (Audience > Geo > Language). The language report breaks down the language settings used on visitors’ browsers. In this report you may notice traffic with bounce rate of 100%, or visits with a session duration of 00:00:01, coming in from a language called ‘c'. This is not some odd abbreviation of a language we should all know. It refers to a language used predominantly by web crawlers (or bots).
Bots are programs that crawl through websites and gather information and are used extensively by numerous companies. When this type of traffic is included in your reports the data will be skewed by additional, non - human visits, high bounce rates and low time on site and will therefore affect report quality and your ability to make effective decisions.
Removing ‘c' from Google Analytics language reports?
Removing ‘c’ is simple. There are a couple of ways to remove these bots from your Google Analytics reports. You can add a filter as described below to your desired view. However, applying this technique has a drawback as filters do not work retrospectively, it only works from the point of implementation forward and permanently changes how the data is collected for that view.
To add ‘Filter’ to your view for removing 'c’ or bots you need to go for filter settings and go through the steps below:
- First, go to the admin panel in your Google Analytics account
- Select your desired view
- Go to ‘Filters.’ and click ‘+Add Filter’
- Name your filter ‘Filter Name’
- Select ‘Custom’ for the ‘Filter Type’ and select ‘Exclude’ from the drop-down menu
- Select ‘Language Settings’ from the drop-down menu of ‘Filter Field’
- Type ^c$ in the filter pattern
- Then click ‘Save’ and your filter for removing ‘C Language’ has been added.
If you want to clean the data in your analytics account retrospectively as well as for future reports, you will need to apply a segment which excludes them. The steps below run through how to apply segment to exclude bots.
- After logging into your account, go to your Audience overview and select ‘+ Add Segment’.
- A dropdown will appear where you can choose to create a new segment. Select the red button titled ‘+ NEW SEGMENT’.
- Give the segment a name. For example, C language excluded
- Select ‘Demographics’ from the tabs on the left. After this, you will find ‘Language’ on the right of ‘Demographics’.
- Select ‘does not exactly match’ and type c in the drop-down box.
- Once all these steps are complete, please click ‘Save’ and your new segment is ready.
So which method should you use?
We always recommend implementing a segment, but if you are not bothered about data being cleaned retrospectively, then a filter is a very good option. There is also no reason not to implement both. It is also an incredibly good idea to keep checking to make sure everything is working as it should.