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This has bothered me for a long time as it puts my sites bounce rate up.

I am based in the UK and my business covers this country and no others, so I have never advertised outside of the UK but for some reason I get 21% of my traffic from Germany.

The German visits all have something in common, they are always direct, they always land on the home page, they never open any other page and the visit never lasts even a second so it gives me reason to think it is some kind of bot?

I really want to stop this so I have try to improve my sites bounce rate but I can't figure out why this is happening.

Below is a picture of my top two countries and you can see how different the visits are from Germany.

A view from analytics of my top two countries

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  • Recently i experienced the same behavior on one of my blog! i am still not getting the reason. What you can do is; just block traffic from particular country to stop them visiting your website.
    – Jack
    Sep 22 '14 at 9:01
  • And block off potential clients? And the problem will keep on existing
    – Martijn
    Sep 22 '14 at 9:05
  • I have no potential clients in Germany. If it's possible to block off a country, how would I go about that?
    – connersz
    Sep 22 '14 at 9:18
  • Checkout this discussion stackoverflow.com/questions/11815709/…
    – Jack
    Sep 22 '14 at 9:20
  • I think its bot or crawler something like semalt.com ... I think you should block that from counting in analytics .. Acquisition -> All Traffic could give more info , who is crawling your site ...
    – panindra
    Sep 22 '14 at 10:02
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I study this kind of traffic as part of my research.

Simply put, these are bot visits. You know this because of the hit and run nature of most bots that are not scrapers. This is evident in the number of pages and the bounce rate. Bots, including scrapers, often result in a %100 bounce rate. But without further data, I cannot tell you much about your specific scenario.

I am not a big fan of Google Analytics for one simple reason. It does not give the entire view of traffic to your site and can be overly complicated. It is excellent to mine data that only Google can provide so I always recommend it.

But only after a log file analysis tool or other traffic analysis tool has been installed.

http://piwik.org/ (one of the best I have seen - free) http://www.awstats.org/ (fairly basic but popular - free) http://www.webalizer.org/ (fairly basic but popular - free)

These will give you the information you need including GEOIP data (what country they come from).

What you want to do is to find all the domain names and IP addresses that abuse your site regardless of where they come from. You will want to block them. You will need to research each and every access and determine if these accesses are wanted or not. Some, while increasing your bounce rate, may actually be good for you. So do your research and make up your own mind on what accesses are useful.

I am assuming Apache here:

You can block them using .htaccess:

RewriteCond %{REMOTE_HOST} example\.com
RewriteRule .* - [F,L]

-or-

RewriteCond %{REMOTE_ADDR} 10\.101\.102\.103 [NC]
RewriteRule .* - [F,L]

Obviously, replace the domain name/IP address with the offending domain or IP.

What you have to keep in mind is that it does take a while to figure out who the good guys are and who the bad guy are. It will become clear to you based upon your traffic over time. If you ever have any questions, post them here with enough data and we will try and tell you who they are and whether you may want to block them.

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  • Pardon this is off topic but i visited your closetnoc site last week, clicked the spider to see what it was and got our work IP added to your list...this seems like a dangerous way to use honeypot. Is there a way to contact you?
    – dhaupin
    Sep 22 '14 at 16:25
  • @dhaupin Sorry about that. The site is less (but not completely since I am rewriting much of it) about providing information and more about experimenting with security options mostly on the back-end. I do this for security products and critical infrastructure. Part of what you experienced is being replaced. The spider, in particular, is a bot trap. It is extremely unlikely that anyone would click on it- you may have been the first! Sorry... ;-) I am here every day. You can always leave me a comment somewhere and we can go into chat. I am usually out in the afternoon and back in the evening.
    – closetnoc
    Sep 22 '14 at 16:34
  • @dhaupin In fact, I am just about to leave, but will be back in just a couple of/few hours.
    – closetnoc
    Sep 22 '14 at 16:35
  • Haha no worries man, I shouldn't have clicked an obvious bait...it was just like the "big red button" you're dying to see how it works, couldn't believe it was a legit "on-ui" pot :). Your research is good still, especially the top 10 lists. Is there any way you can shoot me a mail dhaupin[a]gmail.com? Like to pick your brain about a few backend/pot thoughts in addition to un-list our ip if thats cool. Thanks, sorry again off topic!
    – dhaupin
    Sep 22 '14 at 21:39
  • @dhaupin Done. Subject: Bela Fleck and the Flecktones?? God I have not heard that group in about a decade. I love them. I assume that was you?
    – closetnoc
    Sep 22 '14 at 23:28
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Blocking a whole country like Germany is not recommended since its generally high quality traffic. Ukraine and China however are extreme spammers and you can get away with country block due to their low quality everything.

You should first start to log user agents and IP's from Germany to deduce what type of user they are. If you find its scattered and cannot deduce from user agents, start checking the IP's to see if they are real peoples ISP or if they are server requests. If you find that they are server requests, check them against blacklists. Ban away. If they are not in blacklists, or they are real ISP's, check your backlinks/referrer profiles in a server side tool like AWstats in cPanel.

If you see that there are many non-related sites forwarding traffic to you, and you cant find your links on those sites, its some kinda strange net. We are experiencing the same thing from Russia (many users). Our referrer profile shows hundreds of .ru sites pushing users, but nowhere on those sites is our link.

Although not necessarily recommended for most sites or new webmasters, you can block referred traffic from these bad domains using HTACCESS with a tool such as http://www.htaccesstools.com/block-hitbots/ and then add those same domains to the Google disavow tool too. This will prevent the people from coming via those routes, and tell Google "Hey listen I don't want these sites linking or forwarding traffic to me, ignore them". Only use this if you're confident you know what you're doing :)

This should reduce bounce in general and clean up evil routes if that be the case. As a bonus it will tell Google to ignore the trash too.

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How is your German traffic accessing your site? Have you looked at your site's link profile? A tool like Moz's Open Site Explorer, Majectic SEO, or Ahrefs can help you determine whose linking to your site and the geographic location of the site hosting the links. Although I'd start with Analytics referral traffic.

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  • It's not a link, it's always direct just like someone typing in the domain, establishing a connection and then cutting off. I have no more data on the source other than the country and the area.
    – connersz
    Sep 23 '14 at 8:29
  • Was your domain previously owned by a German-based company? I would research domain history and backlink profile. Maybe your domain is getting confused with a common domain from Germany? Those two elements can uncover some details possibly. Sorry I couldn't be of more assistance, but that's where I'd start.
    – czmudzin
    Sep 23 '14 at 17:25
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It's 2020 now and I also see Germany. It has no referer as well. I recently blocked what is listed below and that's when I noticed Germany.

I would get nonstop SPAM & Phone calls to my business line. By blocking the countries it has so far reduced the calls to almost none. It's only been a week but such an incredible difference. I will post an update if it changes.

I won't block Germany; I get slightly under a 100 weird visits a month.

Blocked Countries China, India, Brazil, Romania, Taiwan, Russia, Turkey & Indonesia. After a couple of months I will slowly unblock low offenders and see how it effects things. I may just find top monthly offenders and work on blocking those. Many ways one could accomplish this.

My Website & needs.

I work from home and provide services. My website is made for mostly local business or business within the United States only. These countries will not effect my local or national placement.... Global websites preferably ban using IP or blocks.

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