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Direct traffic increase due to GNU/Linux

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Level 1

Since November 2020, we've seen a significant increase in traffic to marketing channel direct. I've been doing some digging and discovered that GNU/Linux is a culprit. You can see in the table below that October it was only 4,669 visits, then November was 52,412 and December 81,223. I'm really not sure why! It's throwing out our metrics for marketing channel reporting.

Any idea how I can resolve this?

helenr35573098_0-1634047019144.png

Thanks in advance for your help!

6 Replies

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Community Advisor

@helenr35573098 - Based on what your image shows, I'd guess you have either a bot that's hitting your site, or internal processes that hit the site at somewhat high volume. My suggestion would be to segment for hits that match that OS Type and dig further to see if you can figure out where the traffic is coming from or what it represents. Consider pulling a Data Warehouse report with IP address to see if the traffic is from an internal (or otherwise known - for example, are you running any site scans through third-party providers?) source. 

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Community Advisor

I have also seen this odd user agent behaviour when people purchase 3rd party banner display traffic.

Check to see if any marketing teams have had agencies purchase external traffic for newer campaigns, as sadly some 3rd parties use more of a bot scraping style of acquisition.

 

Good luck to you.

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Level 1

Thank you and yes - display ad activity commencing does coincide with that time. What can I do to better identify if this is the case and what can I do about it? 

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Community Advisor

First check these display providers are not giving you garbage impressions. IE you are in country X and they are giving you impressions from other countries that are not relevant.

 

The tough part here is do you have good display ID for such display traffic?

If not then get those on your banners asap.

 

Also I found these bulk display sellers often use bots to hit your adds with dozens to hundreds of bot generated impressions. Check your web server logs for traffic from IPs were for example you see one display add(URL) getting hit from several IPs all within the same few seconds. this is not normal organic traffic.

 

My guess is you are getting bulk not very relevant display traffic. You will find you purchase from an agency who purchases from a middle man who then resells for another...

 

Fix the source and these unix referrers should drop down.

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Really appreciate your help! We are changing agencies so getting this resolved isn't worthwhile. Hopefully it will be resolved in the next month or two.

 

In the meantime, can I somehow block these from appearing under "Direct"?

 

Can I do this within Marketing Channel Processing Rules for "Direct" marketing channel? I don't see operating system type as a selectable item in the drop down list here.

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Community Advisor

If you can identify their IP. Then exclude via Exclude from IP.

 

https://experienceleague.adobe.com/docs/analytics/technotes/exclude-data.html%3Flang%3Dja

 

See if that helps also a bot rule may work but personally I haven't tried it.

 

regards