Google Analytics traffic filter uptime.com blog post

How to Filter Uptime.com Traffic From Google Analytics

Uptime.com checks can send more than a thousand visits to a URL each day as it monitors infrastructure metrics. Checks record load times and tell administrators which elements are causing slowness. Basic HTTPS checks are the most common, checking for outages and recording downtime or providing technical data to fix them.

The impact that Uptime.com checks have on your infrastructure is minimal, but the record of the visit still exists in Google Analytics and your database.

You might notice certain URLs from a site, such as a particular landing page, or a certain item, receiving far more traffic than normal. These visits can provide unwanted variables for monthly metrics, but they are easy to filter for.

This article will help you get your reporting back on track with some practical methods you can use to filter traffic from Google Analytics. You’ll also learn some tips to handle live transactions with the Uptime.com Transaction Check.

Filtering Probe Servers

In my own testing, I’ve noticed that Google Analytics naturally filters some of the traffic generated by Uptime.com. It doesn’t always show up in live visits, and it’s sometimes hard for me to notice but it’s there. Get around this with a manual filter for Probe Servers from the locations you monitor.

Reminder: We advise that you use at least three regions to monitor a given check. A good rule to follow for sensitivity is to set the number to cover for the majority of regions you choose to monitor from. Allow for one server to fail in order to safeguard from a false positive.

Download the Probe Server CSV from your Probe Server page, then create a filter within Google Analytics for each server covering your selected regions.

Google’s documentation on filters suggests a single filter for each Probe Server, and users are advised to set these filters at the account level. Doing so will create a default filter for any authorized user reviewing site metrics.

So yes, you will need to make those filters one by one. However, you only need to do it once if you follow this advice.

Database Filtering

If you’ve configured a Transaction Check, you’ve potentially run into one of several issues dealing with inventory or the transaction itself. You may find items out of stock, or unusual database activity generated by a single user agent. This unintended activity can cause the check to fail if the database cannot return the item or process a transaction.

Yikes!

Each database makeup is different, but Uptime.com uses the username and password you configured during your Transaction Check setup. Administrators monitoring a database should find this name easy to identify, but you may need to let Uptime.com create some data before it is noticeable.

Once you’ve identified this username, create a database job/task that deletes its data. Set that job to occur each day. You will remove all of the database entries, including transactions and item purchases required to conduct your check, and self destruct in 24 hours start fresh in the morning.

The job you just configured should take care of most issues a Transaction Check could potentially create, but we have a few more tips for you.

We suggest that you configure fake/dummy credit card information for use with a Transaction Check. Your payment gateway or merchant provider can probably help with this. You’re also advised to create dummy database entries with infinite quantities of items set at a special price.

Final Tips

Uptime.com checks are designed to check your website availability at intervals ranging from one to sixty minutes, with certain checks running once per day. Accounts outside of Basic have access to some checks that run at 1-minute intervals.

Some of our checks visiting various parts of your infrastructure can run as many as 1440 times per day.

Reduce Check Volume

If you wish to reduce the volume of traffic Uptime.com sends to your site, you can reduce the intervals for certain checks. We recommend the most important checks, such as HTTPS, to run every minute. Less important checks like SMTP/POP/IMAP can be reduced to every 3-5 minutes while still providing effective monitoring in most use cases.

Filter Only the Servers You Need

Users do not need to filter every probe server from Google Analytics. Filter only the servers that monitor from the locations you’ve chosen for your checks. Be aware that the same location may have multiple probe servers, so check to be sure you’ve filtered for each server.

Conclusion

Uptime.com needs to act like a real user in certain circumstances. That user-like behavior can confuse analytics, and create unwanted variables when you’re analyzing monthly visits or conversions. With these tips, you can get your monthly reporting back on track and configure a Transaction Check that won’t create more problems than it solves.

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Richard Bashara is Uptime.com's lead content marketer, working on technical documentation, blog management, content editing and writing. His focus is on building engagement and community among Uptime.com users. Richard brings almost a decade of experience in technology, blogging, and project management to help Uptime.com remain the industry leading monitoring solution for both SMBs and enterprise brands. He resides in California, enjoys collecting and restoring arcade machines, and photography.

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