We're seeing Google Analytics report a huge amount of hits and large drop rate on some of our pages, but investigating this further reveals more questions than answers.

For instance, one page is reported to have over 1000 hits this month, but in our database (Magento) we only see 6 hits.

When I look into the Apache access log, I do see many GETs for this URL, but they all have a referrer like this:


And it goes on... I'm assuming it is a feeble attempt to DDoS, but that's not the question, I'll save that for a different SE.

Could this be skewing our Google Analytics numbers? If so, how can we sanitize Google Analytics so that these types of GETs aren't counted?

EDIT: We do not use AdWords. We do have an AdWords account set up but have never utilized it. I traced the logged IP addresses to various places outside the U.S. like Sri Lanka, Taiwan, ...ad nauseam.

EDIT 2: All of the GET requests seem to have a ?gclid= in the URL. I'm beginning to wonder if there's some black-hat SEO aimed at making us think our metrics are bad so we'll hire one of them. We do get SEO spam all the time... Regardless, still looking for a way to filter past Google Analytics data.

  • Do you have a Google Adwords account?
    – Binarysurf
    Jun 24, 2014 at 20:53
  • What are the IP addresses/domain name? These can be checked to see if it is actually Google or DoubleClick.
    – closetnoc
    Jun 24, 2014 at 21:48
  • @closetnoc I traced some of the logged IPs, and they're from all over asia and eastern Europe for the most part. That's why I assume feeble DDoS or at least a probe. Jun 24, 2014 at 22:55
  • @Binarysurf We do have adwords set up, but have never utilized it at all Jun 24, 2014 at 22:56
  • 1
    Okay. I would blocks these accesses either through a firewall or through .htaccess (assuming Apache) or however this is done in your web server. Something funky is going on, but at least I would not allow access to your server from these IP addresses.
    – closetnoc
    Jun 24, 2014 at 22:59

1 Answer 1


You can setup Google Analytics to exclude based on the referrer domain. See this for more: Google Analytics - Exclude referrers

Also, you could block these based on the referrer as well via your .htaccess or Apache conf file, like this:

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^.*\.doubleclick\.net.*$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ - [F]

(rather than blocking multiple IP addresses)

  • These would do what you say, but could prove a future pitfall if at some point legit traffic was ever referred to us by doubleclick.net. Jun 25, 2014 at 11:04

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