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Google Analytics Step Two: Don’t Track Yourself!


This step is probably the most complicated part of configuring Google Analytics, but it’s really nice to have because otherwise you think you’ve been getting a ton of hits, when really, it was just you checking how your blog looks or loading pages so you can link to them.

Is Your Tracking Code Installed Properly?

But first, a slight digression. We need to make sure that you have correctly inserted the tracking code on the web page.

  1. Log in to your Google Analytics account.
  2. On the main page, look at the “Website Profiles” box and find your blog.
  3. Scan to the right-most column. If the box is red and says “Tracking code not detected,” then we have a problem! But if you see a green check mark and “Receiving Data,” we’re good to go.

It can take up to 24 hours for Google Analytics to start seeing your code, so you might give it one more day. Here is a Google-sponsored page for troubleshooting this problem–I have never had this issue before, so I don’t have any personal advice on fixing it. If you do encounter this issue, though, comment or email me and I’ll see what I can do.

Excluding Your Visits

Okay, now that we have ensured that the tracking code is being read by Google Analytics, we can proceed to the main issue of today’s post: Not tracking YOUR visits!

First, we have to know your IP address. The easiest way that I know of doing this is by going to WhatIsMyIPAddress. Upon loading the site, your IP address will be displayed. Copy your IP address exactly. Now follow these steps.

  1. Log in to your Google Analytics account.
  2. From the main page, scroll down to the bottom. Click on “Filter Manager.”
  3. On the right side of the dark gray box, click “Add Filter.”
  4. In the “Filter Name” box, type something like “Home computer (Giessen)” or “Work computer (JLU)” so that you know exactly which location you are excluding.
  5. From the “Filter Type” drop-down menu, select “Exclude all traffic from an IP address.”
  6. In the “IP address” field, paste your IP address.
  7. Add a backslash \ before every period in your IP address.
  8. In the box below, click on any blogs you wish to ignore your visits, then click “Add.”
  9. Click “Finish.”

Now that you have told Google Analytics to ignore visits from your computer, you can feel free to load your blog on excluded computers as much as you want–you won’t see your visits counted!

EDIT: These steps apply only if your have what is called a “static IP.” That is, if your IP address never changes. (Be sure to recheck it and change your Google Analytics filter if you have to reset your router/modem. This action will cause your IP address to change.) But what if you have an IP address that changes every time you connect to the internet, a “dynamic IP”? The smart guys at AnalyticsExperts.com wrote an excellent and detailed post about solving exactly that problem. Thanks to liz who asked this great question!

EDIT #2: Unfortunately, the post that explains how to exclude dynamic IPs does not contain the promised link to the script source required to actually exclude your dynamic IP, effectively making the post useless. I have notified AnalyticsExperts about the problem, and will update once they’ve solved it or “answered my inquiry.”

EDIT #3: Thanks to Phil LeClair for point me to this article, “Count Me Out!” on Analytics Talk, we now have an answer to our question about excluding dynamic IP addresses. Since I have static IPs, I’d be interested to hear from those of you who needed this info: Did LeClair’s link solve your problem? Thanks!

Related Posts
Google Analytics Step One: Begin Tracking
Google Analytics Step Three: Get Your Stats By Email
Google Analytics Step Four: Loose Ends
Linden’s Pensieve Top 10s


10 thoughts on “Google Analytics Step Two: Don’t Track Yourself!

  1. Pingback: 17 Ways to Improve Your Site's / Blog's SEO | Linden's Pensieve

  2. A. Kenway Wang

    12 Oct on 2008 at 22:41

    @ linden, thanks a ton!

  3. Linden

    10 Oct on 2008 at 20:42

    @liz: I just re-read the post I linked to and realized that AnalyticExperts must have made a mistake because the script source is not actually available, and without that source, the post is useless. I have emailed them regarding this problem, so hopefully, they’ll get that link up soon.

  4. Linden

    10 Oct on 2008 at 20:19

    @edwin: Thanks! So glad it was helpful!

    @liz: Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I was on vacation when you wrote. I don’t personally have any experience with excluding dynamic IPs, but I found this post, which should help. I’ll add this link to the bottom of my post–you asked a great question!

    @a. kenway wang: I am no expert on PageRank, which is Google’s complicated algorithm used to determine how important a site is to the WorldWideWeb in general. From what I do know about PageRank, there is no reason to think that your filtering of visits for your own stats would in any way affect your site’s PageRank. PageRank is based on links to and from your site, not on visits.

    However, Google does use more than just PageRank to determine how a page is listed in the search returns.

  5. A. Kenway Wang

    10 Oct on 2008 at 19:41

    Very cool. Extremely clear and helpful instructions.

    One question though: I work at a nonprofit and have filtered out all the employee workstations from our various offices. Do you know if this will affect Google’s overall ranking of our website? In other words, will their traffic numbers to our site take out what I’ve filtered?

    Thanks!

  6. liz

    18 Sep on 2008 at 22:31

    thank you for your help– any advice for those of us who do not have a static IP address?

    many thanks!
    liz

  7. Edwin Rosell

    21 Jul on 2008 at 15:17

    Thank you so much, this was a very helpful post!

  8. Linden

    24 Mar on 2008 at 9:07

    @kevin: Hi! I’m glad the steps are working for you. Let me know if you have any questions I might be able to help with.

    Thanks for the comment! You look like a seasoned runner, so I’ve subscribed for your blog. I am a baby runner: I only have a few races under my belt and I’ve only been running for about 2 years. But I love it!

  9. Kevin

    24 Mar on 2008 at 0:13

    thanks for the advice. seems like its working.

  10. Beth

    22 Feb on 2008 at 16:09

    Cool! Great directions, and very clear. I followed them perfectly thanks to you!