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How to Exclude Your Visits in Google Analytics

Who doesn’t love stats?

Understanding your site’s metrics is important in the growth of your blog. It’s good to know where people are coming from, what they’re reading, and what is resonating. What’s challenging about a smaller blog is that it doesn’t have a ton of traffic and your own visits to the site can skew the metrics.

When you’re first starting out, you’ll be loading your website up a lot. You record a pageview when you check post previews or when you check that a plugin is working. You make a tweak to your theme and design and you’ll load it up again. Those frequent visits can skew your statistics and make your analytics less valuable.

The simple solution is to exclude yourself, here’s how:

Exclude by IP

You can use filters in Analytics to exclude visits from your IP address. Load up your analytics account and click Admin in the top right corner. In the right column, under Profile, the fourth option is for Filters. Look for the + New Filter button above the list of filters, click that. You should see this form:
GA-add-filter-form

I named my filter “IP xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx” with the xxx’s corresponding to my IP. Then I used the options shown in the screenshot above and put in my IP. This is your IP:

 
echo $_SERVER["REMOTE_ADDR"]; 

The benefits of this are that it’s simple to do. You don’t need to mess with regular expressions or anything else. The drawback is that if your IP changes, you need to update this. If you click Custom Filter, you can use regular expressions if you’re familiar with them and want to set a range.

Exclude by Cookie

The second, and slightly more complicated way, is to exclude yourself using a cookie. To do this, you need to create a page on your site that will set a Analytics variable. Then create a customer filter that excludes visits where that value is defined by the visitor.

The simplest way to set the cookie is to use Javascript. Create a page on your domain and hook into the onLoad event (make sure the page calls the Analytics tracking code):

<body onLoad=”javascript:pageTracker._setVar(‘ignore_this_visitor’);”>

Then add the following filter:
GA-add-user-defined-filter

That should do it! Now reload away while preserving the sanctity of your statistics.

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Jim

In 2005, I founded a personal finance blog (Bargaineering.com) that became successful enough that I quit my career as a software developer in the defense industry. It is my goal to share everything I learned so that you can do the same - build an online business that let's you pursue your passion.

5 responses to “How to Exclude Your Visits in Google Analytics”

  1. Your Daily Finance says:

    This is a good one. People forget that their own visits pad the stats as well. Gotta make sure you take yourself out of the equation. Especially if you log on from various locations. Nice post Jim!

    • Jim Wang says:

      Yeah it’s tough in the beginning because you make up such a large percentage of total visits and you might draw the wrong conclusions if you include yourself. Thanks!

  2. Jim Wang says:

    Glad to be of help 🙂

  3. Awesome… thanks for this helpful tip. Just set up my Google Analytics account for survivethevalley.com and don’t want my gazillion hits to color the data.

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