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Bing Ads Crawler Causing Extra Visits in GA

Published: February 6, 2014

Author: Joe Stanton


Just wanted to pass along an issue I’ve now seen on 2 clients who track visits in GA on Bing because it has given me some headaches! We began noticing a really large discrepancy between clicks and visits – visits being way larger than the amount of clicks reported. After a ton of investigating, I found this article.
It describes a couple things – an MSN bot/preview tool that causes extraneous traffic in GA. Two things to look for: “msn.com” as the Network Domain, and “Mozilla Compatible Agent” as the Browser; I had both:

2014-02-05_11252014-02-05_1124

You’ll notice msn.com isn’t an ISP like the rest on the list – comcast, rr.com, etc. The traffic from that also has a bounce rate of 100%, only 1 page visited, and time on site of 0, so it all kind of adds up.
The author heard back from Bing on the issue, and their response was this from his follow-up article: “What you are describing in your post is the result of an increase in our usage of the Bing Preview Bot.  While you might be seeing this as an increase in traffic, we certainly don’t charge for any resulting clicks.”
There’s a filter your client can apply if you notice this happening described in the article.
Just wanted to pass along some knowledge share! Let me know if you have any questions.

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