Saturday, October 25, 2008

Google Analytics Finds Bandits and Proxies!

Google Analytics has a Hostnames feature that most overlook which normally displays the hostname of the site your visitor landed on, like However, you'll probably notice a bunch of IP addresses and other interesting information in this list including sites that may have stolen your content!

To see what I'm referring to go into your Google Analytics account and go to Visitors -> Network Properties -> Hostnames.

Many of the IPs listed will be for Google or Yahoo translator services or such and you wouldn't want to block any of these. Other IPs and host names will be proxy servers in data centers you probably never heard of and possibly host names to places that have your stolen content posted!

Now expand the date range for your report to show all your Hostname data as far back as Google has been tracking your site and see what people have been doing with your site all this time.

Probably not worth trying to just block old single proxy IPs as proxy sites come and go all the time, but most likely you'll find these IPs are associated with data centers which host lots of servers and perhaps that proxy is just on a new IP so now you have another data center you can block.

Fun fun fun!

The list of actual host domain names, not the IPs, is what I found most useful as a few of those turned out to be idiots that managed to scrape a page or two from my site and still had my Google Analytics tracking codes on their pages!

Enjoy this new toy while I start sending C&Ds to the idiots with my tracking codes still on their sites.