Google Analytics IP Filters Are Not the Best Solution

Author By Adam Wells

Last updated: 08/29/2020

Google Analytics dashboard on laptop screen.

Have you ever considered how to filter out your internal traffic in Google Analytics? For example, let’s say that you are the SEO or Content expert of your firm and have been tasked with adding better /more content to every page of your website. Imagine how you are manipulating your Google Analytics Data. The average pages per session, time per session, bounce rate and so on will change. If you do not get a ton of traffic, this can impact your data a good bit, or if you have a digital marketing team that accesses the website a lot this can also have a dramatic impact. Regardless, at the end of the day (and the beginning of the day), we want as accurate data as possible. We want accurate data all the time.

Once you think of, or hear the idea of, this internal traffic issue – that is when you may hear that the solution is to use IP filters in Google Analytics to filter out the public IP address or device IPs of yourself and your workers. This sounds like a legitimate way to accomplish the desired outcome. Even Google has some informative documentation on how to set these IP Filters up and states that they are useful for the aforementioned purpose.

WAIT:
But before you decide that IP filters are the best solution and you go set IP filters up, you should know this next piece of information. Most IP Addresses constantly change (about every 14 days from what I have read). So you can imagine how it can be a little deceiving to be led to believe that IP filters is the ultimate and only solution that you need.

How I Found Out:
I went through the trouble of adding IP filters in Google Analytics, although it really wasn’t any trouble, just a little bit of time investment. I also spent additional time learning how to use a Regular Expression so I could add multiple IPs within 1 filter. After adding the IP filters I checked the Real Time reports in Google Analytics and verified that I had set the filters up correctly. It was not until a week or so later that I noticed that I was showing on the Real Time report again. I researched the issue and found that it is because IP Addresses tend to change all the time. So I hope that this post will 1) make you aware of this and 2) avoid you having to find out the way that I did.

We hope that you got some value out of this post. If you have read this far then you will probably like to read our next post, Easiest and Best Way to Filter Out Internal Traffic From Google Analytics .

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