Removing Visitors From Google Analytics Data for a More Accurate View for Drupal websites

If you use Google Analytics to determine what visitors are looking at on your website, you may want to remove your visits and other visitors from your business so you can get an accurate view. 

Before going further, for those who do not know, Google Analytics is a free website traffic analysis service from Google. Google Analytics is currently the most used web analytics service. Google also offers a paid version targeted to large companies that need more data and have multiple users accessing and using the data. 

Removing your personal visits to your website from other site visitors is merely creating a filter that removes those visits from the data. You may want to remove other people in your office that regularly access your website as well. I will not write the instructions here because the very best instructions to accomplish this are found here on Google. If you are a maintenance and hosting customer, I can help you set this up.

Another option you might consider if you exclusively use the Google Chrome Browser is a free plugin you can add called Block Yourself from Analytics - Browser Extension.

So, for most users of Google Analytics information, the "filtering" is all you need to know and do, but I want to make sure you are aware of a few additional details. First, when "filtering" Google Analytics starts the process when the filter is added, so your old data will not be updated. Second, Google Analytics "filtering" is destructive, meaning you can not go back and see data that includes your visits that you have filtered out. If you have reasons for maintaining the data related to your visits to your website, Google Analytics offers another more complex option called "segments." I believe "segments" are more complicated and unnecessary for most users, but if you are interested, you can learn more here. In conclusion, the distinction between  "filtering"  and "segments" filters are destructive, and segments are non-destructive.

Here is a particular note about filtering by IP address as shown in the Google instruction linked to above. Some Internet providers produce dynamic IP addresses. This means there is more than one IP address associated with your Internet connection. So your IP may change every time you log in online. The plugin mentioned above may be a good solution if you use the Chrome browser. Or, you can identify the most common IP addresses you use and filter all of these in Google Analytics.

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