Amazon Keyword in Google Analytics Organic Traffic from Bing


Are you sure your business decisions are based on the correct data?

If you study your keywords report in Google Analytics from time to time, you must have noticed this weird keyword ‘amazon’ coming from bing / organic which is completely irrelevant to your website content:

amazon organic keyword from bing in google analytics

If you have seen this, you’re not alone. In one of my accounts, I see that it appeared last October.

Where Does this Amazon Traffic Come From?

This traffic seems to come from bots. But they definitely know what website they are targeting as the hostname is not random, it will contain your real domain name (thus, this traffic won’t be filtered out by a hostname filter if you have one in place).

If you look into details, this ‘amazon’ keyword traffic has the following attributes:

  • Source: bing / organic
  • Browser: Internet Explorer
  • City: New York, Santa Clara, San Jose, Boston, etc. (all from the USA)
  • Hostname: your domain name
  • Landing page: the homepage
  • Client ID (I have it as a Custom Dimension): always different
  • Device Category: Desktop
  • Service Provider: Private Customer

So these bots come from organic Bing results (I don’t think this is a real referral source), go to the homepage using Internet Explorer and constantly change the Client ID. Everything is very typical of bots behaviour.

There is nothing really special about the mentioned attributes that could be used to create an exclusion filter. But if we dig deeper and check other parameters like ‘Network Domain’, there is something interesting:

amazon organic keyword-from-bing-in-google-analytics network domain

I also checked a ‘Network Domain’ dimension for other keywords to make sure that none of them has the same value as ‘amazon’ (you should do this too). Luckily, this dimension is unique for this bot, so I’ll use it to exclude spam traffic with a filter.

How to Remove Amazon Keyword Traffic from Google Analytics

You can create a filter in the appropriate view of your Google Analytics:

  1. Navigate to Admin -> Filters -> Add Filter
  2. Name your filter (e.g. Exclude Amazon organic keyword)
  3. Filter Type: Custom
  4. Exclude -> Filter Field: ISP Domain
  5. Filter Pattern: paloaltonetworks.com
  6. Verify the Filter

amazon organic keyword filter google analytics

Note: filters are not retrospective, they are applied only to your future data!

In order to exclude the ‘amazon’ keyword traffic from bing in your past reports, create a custom segment:

  1. Add Segment
  2. Choose ‘Custom’ and go to ‘Conditions’ under Advanced
  3. Exclude: Network domain – contains – paloaltonetworks.com

amazon organic keyword cusom-segment google analytics

After creating the segment, I can verify that it works:

amazon organic keyword cusom-segment verify google analytics

Your Turn

Have you seen this traffic from Bing? if not, go and check your Google Analytics, chances are high that your organic report has this ‘amazon’  keyword.

 


22 thoughts on “Amazon Keyword in Google Analytics Organic Traffic from Bing

    1. I think it only hurt your search performance by increasing the Bounce rate, decreasing Avg Session Duration and affect other KPIs. That’s all what I was able to find out from my stats. I received 9 sessions from this in past 7 days. I was searching for the solution to this and found this post but this only helps with GA data.
      Let me know what you think or if you were able to find a solution.

      Cheers,
      Joseph D.

  1. You said, “If you look into details, this ‘amazon’ keyword traffic has the following attributes…”

    How do you look into those attributes? I clicked on the “amazon” link where it shows up in analytics, but it just takes me to another page showing an unlinkable “amazon” and how many visits came from it. I just wanted to see if mine is coming from paloaltonetworks.com too.

    Thanks for posting this! =

    1. Hey!
      In this case, you will need to find another dimension common for only this type of spam traffic. You can then use this dimension for the exclusion filter.

  2. Hi there, and thanks for this! I noticed that I have about four different Network Domains, including unknown.unknown. However, I also noticed that ALL of the ‘amazon’ keyword results showing in my data seem to just be spam. Would you (or has anyone else done this?) recommend to filter out the keyword itself? Knowing that this client is in freight forwarding, I don’t think would hurt but would also love some feedback. Thanks!

  3. Hi Kristina, Good article. It might be worth noting that the Search Console data is incompatible with Google Analytics segments. If you apply segments to the Search Console reports, the Analytics metrics are segmented, but the Search Console metrics are not, and return values of 0. ~ Found out the hard way ~ 😎

  4. Hi everyone, Kristina. So Im concerned that filtering it out doesnt address that it is happening, its just turning a blind eye. For a client of mine this traffic hits so hard it drove page load times up from 3 seconds to 18. The hits come usually every other week beginning at 9am. That also then affects legitimate users. And the number of unique ips varies but 1000 isnt unheard of over the course of the day.
    This drives up the bounce rate, I worry, and down the page’s ability to rank well.
    I put a firewall rule in to block the traffic because, for us I notice the urls usually had .html? in them so I blocked all traffic with that. As were a WordPress site that url landed on a 404 page anyhow.
    But now it seems the traffic is just targeting the homepage. Do others see a frequency of traffic events like us? Has anyone found a way to stop the traffic from reaching the site?

    1. Hey Matthew,
      You’re right, the solution is for filtering the info from GA, not for stopping the traffic to the server.
      Such traffic is not aggressive in most of the cases.
      As far as I can see from your description, you’re having a more severe issue (similar to a brute force attack). Such things are addressed at a server level. You can look into CludFlare, it can help to filter out this irrelevant traffic.

  5. Hi Kristina, unfortunately I can’t find a way to filter out those bots, as now it doesn’t show any “Network Domain”; I checked other dimensions but couldn’t find any. The site doesn’t get much Bing traffic and nearly half is with those “amazon” bots, so one radical “solution” would be to exclude all organic/bing traffic but that seems a bit too radical really. If anyone has found a solution I would be happy to read it here! thanks!

  6. Hi!
    I have noticed the amazon keyword from Bing has come back into my traffic. The Network Domain is now coming in as (not set) after Google has stopped collecting ISP data. I added the amazon keyword to the Search Term Exclusion list to see if that will remove the bot traffic from my data. Does anyone else have other suggestions?

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