Invalid traffic (IVT) is a type of web traffic that is generated by non-human sources, such as bots or automated scripts. IVT can artificially inflate web traffic statistics and mislead advertisers about the true reach of their campaigns.
General Invalid Traffic (GIVT) is a form of invalid traffic that is generated by benign, non-malicious activity, such as users who click on ads without intending to take action. GIVT is the most common type of IVT, and it can occur due to a variety of factors.
Other typical sources of GIVT include:
- Test accounts/dev environments
- Automated browser extensions
- VPNs and proxies
- Data center (DCH) traffic
Causes of GIVT
GIVT can be caused by a variety of factors, including but not limited to:
- Search engine crawlers or bots that are indexing or scraping websites for information.
- Data centers that are hosting numerous websites, each of which may have its own analytics software installed.
- Improperly configured IP addresses that can cause duplicate traffic from the same source.
Understanding the potential causes of GIVT can help you better prepare to detect and address any issues related to this type of invalid traffic.
How to Identify GIVT
GIVT can be identified by its unique patterns and behaviour, which are noticeably different from human activity. Some common indicators of GIVT include:
- High bounce rates
- Large numbers of page views or visits from the same source in a short amount of time
- A high number of new visitors, with no return visits
- Unusually long session lengths
These indicators can be used to detect and identify GIVT on your website’s analytics reports.
If you suspect your website may be experiencing GIVT, it’s important to investigate further in order to determine if there is cause for concern.
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Effects of GIVT
The effects of GIVT can include decreased advertising performance due to incorrect metrics, as well as general confusion about what is actually driving website traffic. If GIVT has warped the numbers on an analytics dashboard, it can lead to poor decision making when it comes to budget and resource allocation.
Furthermore, it can also lead to website crashes and other system issues due to large amounts of invalid data being sent through the server at once. Lastly, it could potentially lead to security risks if malicious actors are able to gain access through exploits created by the presence of these bots.
General Invalid Traffic (GIVT) vs Sophisticated Invalid Traffic (SIVT)
It’s important to differentiate between General Invalid Traffic and Sophisticated Invalid Traffic. GIVT is not malicious in nature, whereas SIVT is. As such, it requires more advanced techniques and technologies to detect and prevent.
Common Misconceptions about GIVT
One of the most common misconceptions about GIVT is that it does not affect a website’s performance. This is false – GIVT can still affect website performance, even if it is not malicious in nature.
Another misconception is that GIVT cannot be prevented. This also is not true – while GIVT cannot be completely eliminated, there are steps that can be taken to reduce its occurrence on your website.
How to Prevent GIVT
The best way to prevent GIVT is to implement best practices and take proactive measures. These steps can include:
- Using filters to block IP addresses known to produce invalid traffic
- Monitoring for unusual activity on the website, such as unusually high page views or visits from the same source in a short amount of time
- Performing regular audits of your website’s analytics reports
- Investing in a professional invalid traffic detection and prevention solution