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Are your landing pages receiving a high volume of suspicious click traffic from bots and other web “crawlers?" Periodically deleting this data is important to ensure proper respondent data, track accurate conversion rates, and to stay within your console's capacity. ion gives you a quick and easy way to delete this data from your console. In this video, we will discuss what suspicious clicks are, why ion tracks them and the quick steps you can follow to delete this data from your console.
What are suspicious clicks?
Suspicious clicks are typically generated by non-human visitors to your pages. These 'respondents' may come from search engines bots & spiders like Google or Bing who need to periodically crawl your creatives for quality score as well as pings from other bots on the Internet.
Because these pings are treated as unique respondents to your ion pages, they will dilute your conversion rate and may also cause you to go over your capacity. Although most bots cannot be automatically recognized, you do have the ability to remove these clicks from your console.
How does ion identify suspicious clicks?
The first time a respondent clicks on a traffic source, ion records the time and date of their "first contact". An invisible <img> pixel is included at the bottom of the initial page of the creative. When ion hears the request for that <img>, it updates the "last contact" timestamp for that respondent. A respondent is considered "suspicious" if they requested an initial page on an ion creative, but then they never fully load the page.
There are two common explanations for this:
- The respondent arrived at the traffic source URL with no intention of loading the entire page -- they were (a) clicking on ads just to rack up charges for the advertiser, (b) clicking on affiliate links to rack up rewards, or (c) running an unauthorized "bot" that's scanning pages without loading all the associated resources (i.e., <img> tags). This is generally unwanted traffic.
You have the ability to delete suspicious clicks from your console under the global Settings menu and the 'Manage Capacity' menu item. You can plug the IP addresses from your Suspicious Clicks report into the 'Delete by IP' field.
Suspicious clicks report
One of your best tools to identifying suspicious click data from your console is the suspicious clicks report. You may manually run a suspicious clicks report each month or automate the report and have it sent directly to your inbox on a regular basis. This report will display relevant data that can be used to delete these clicks from your console.
To run this report:
- Click the reports tab
- Click +report
- Select “Suspicious Clicks” from the Report type dropdown menu
- Select a time period from the available dropdown menu or enter a custom date range
- Click the blue run button
- Optional: To download the report as an Excel file, simply click the blue refresh icon toward the top of the page that displays your suspicious clicks
- Automate report
- In the bottom half of the “add report” screen, you will see options to save and deliver this report
- Enter a title, specify how often you would like this report delivered (using the “Repeat every” dropdown menu)
- Enter your name and email address
- Click save
Setting up IP restrictions
Once the suspicious clicks have been identified through your suspicious clicks report, you may set up IP restrictions to ensure these specific IP addresses are automatically removed from your console. To set up an IP restriction, please follow the below steps:
- Hover over the Settings tab and select “Manage IP Restrictions”
- Click +IP
- Enter one of the IP addresses from your suspicious clicks report into the available text box
- Select one of the following options from the “Restriction” dropdown menu
- Allow but auto-delete tracking hourly
- Allows the IP address to visit your creatives but would automatically remove its respondent data within the hour
- Allow as crawler/bot
- Allows the IP address to crawl your pages without adding to your capacity
- Note: This IP address would not be able to “click” any of the links or trigger any advanced rules in yoru creative
- Block with a 403 (Forbidden) response
- Block with a 404 (Not Found) response
Removing suspicious clicks
IP restrictions are a great way to set your ion console up to automatically ignore, block or remove suspicious clicks from your console, however, you will also want to periodically delete any respondents who have not had IP restrictions set up. To delete suspicious clicks from your console, please follow the below steps:
- Hover over Settings tab and select “Manage Capacity” where you have two options to delete suspicious clicks
1. Delete suspicious clicks
- At the bottom of the page, you will see a section labeled “delete suspicious clicks”
- Define how many pings from a given IP you would like to use as your suspicious clicks threshold to delete any instance of a suspicious IP that has pinged your pages more than that many times (i.e. a value of 1 would remove all suspicious clicks while a value of 5 would only remove IPs that have pinged your pages 5 or more times)
- Click the red delete button to go to a confirmation page displaying how many respondents are about to be removed and will also give you an option to generate a CSV file which can be downloaded for your records
- Simply click “confirm delete” to remove these respondents from your console
2. Delete respondent by domain or IP
- Open your suspicious clicks report
- Sort the IP address column to show unique records only
- Highlight the IP address column and copy all IP's
- Paste into the “IP address(es) section in your “Manage Capacity” screen
- Click delete
- Optionally generate a CSV report by clicking orange link to download a file containing the IPs you are about to delete
- Confirm delete