Re: Council Bluffs -- What causes these odd repeat “visitors” to our site?

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What causes these odd repeat “visitors” to our site?

Acraftchocolate
Visitor
2 0 4

We are a very small chocolate company and sell our bars only online.  We have had 1,000 visitors to our site in the 7 weeks since we opened which is great!  For the last 10 days we get 3 “visitors” at the same time from the same place... Council Bluffs Iowa - which is no where near us.  Always 3... always at the exact same time.  It seems like some type of robot that’s logging in each day from 3 different addresses.  Anyone have any ideas if we should be concerned?  Is it some type of bot?

 

thanks!

Erin

Accepted Solution (1)
TheDigitalYeti
Shopify Partner
12 2 60

This is an accepted solution.

I have been doing some research and found out the cause, the Shopify Speed Report.

There are two other topics about this here; https://community.shopify.com/c/Online-Store-Speed/Online-Store-Speed-Report/m-p/908894#M390 or here; https://community.shopify.com/c/Shopify-Discussion/Council-Bluffs-visits/td-p/846963

Shopify runs the speed report using a Google Developer tool (the Google data centre is based in Council Bluffs, USA) which tests 3 pages, Homepage, a popular collection page and a popular product page. Shopify then compares this result to other similar Shopify sites. This test is run daily!

For some sites this is not a problem, but for some smaller sites this can screw with your analytics and conversion rate metrics. If you get 3000 hits a day, 3 extra visits is not an issue - it's only 0.1%. Not every site is as big as that. My site is small and sometimes gets tested twice in one day for some reason. If you use Google Analytics you can exclude these visits from the report. I do not trust Google with my data as I have caught them doing things with my data before, and these visits are messing with the analytics in Shopify.

 

I have raised this with Shopify Support a few times and each time they have "forwarded it to the Development Team" but it seems its not a priority for them.

So if this feature is negatively affecting you, make sure to reach out to Shopify and ask them to turn it off. If more people bring it up, it may get resolved sooner.

Better yet ask them to give you, the store owner, the choice of when or if your site is tested. Manually, Daily, Weekly, Monthly or Annually.

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Replies 19 (19)

A_Pepper
Visitor
2 0 7

I’ve noticed the exact same thing with my store. Almost every day for the last few weeks I’ve been getting views from Council Bluffs IA. 
I assume it’s some sort of bot as well, but I’m not sure why...

MMMs
Visitor
1 0 1

Must be another bot, like "Boardman Oregon" from a few months back: 

https://community.shopify.com/c/Shopify-Discussion/Unnatural-Direct-Traffic-Ghost-spam-or-something-...

MindMade80
Visitor
2 0 0

I had a visitor from Boardman Oregon, but they were hacking my account and messing with my products. 

mte10
Visitor
2 0 0
  • This has been our concern.  We have same locations visiting  our site, daily.  Did you contact Shopify and if so have they responded with an answer?  We would like to take the appropriate steps to end these visits permanently. Look forward to hearing back!
TheDigitalYeti
Shopify Partner
12 2 60

Hi @mte10 ,

 

If you read through the post I have explained what it is. Its a Bot, the Shopify Speed Test. You can find this test and the result under -  Sales Channel > Online Store > Themes

https://((yourdomain)).myshopify.com/admin/reports/online_store_speed

 

This is a site speed test that is run daily by @Shopify using Google's Data Centre in Council Bluffs.

You cant turn it off, you cant stop it.

My view that I have made in previous posts it that Shopify make this speed test optional for site owners and give us the choice of when its tested.

If that is something you would like to see happen it is important that you let @Shopify  know by contacting Shopify Support and let them know. Quote this thread and let them know your preference.

 

Bots are a serious problem and @Shopify should do something about it, the more people that contact them about this, the more likely they are to do something about it.

I have had almost 25% of my traffic from Bots in the last 30 days, from Council Bluffs, Ashburn and some unknown sources.

 

Seriously @Shopify, sort it out please.

danteamk
Tourist
9 0 28

I'm having the same creepy 3 visits from Council Bluffs every day. I'm afraid this is some sort of spyware or something... creepy!

maroSK
Visitor
1 0 0

Do you guys use Google ads ? Because Google has their data centre in Council Bluffs.

Ivanm
Tourist
4 0 0

I've been getting the same 3 hits each day from a site in Council Bluffs too, I'm not even in the US so it's a bit strange to see this. The hits are coming at random times but landing on the same 3 pages each day, a product page, a collection page and my homepage.

Nothing ever comes of it so I am pretty sure it's harmless, but it has definitely piqued my curiosity. It's highly likely to be a bot, I am very curious now as to what for?

The only issues I have had to date is with spammers getting my email address from the contact page so I turned it into a web-form and removed my email address, bots do leave occasional messages but it's nowhere near as frequent and annoying as being put on an email list. Other times an SEO "genius" will run my site through an SEO analyser and send me the results and a spiel trying to sell me their marketing services. I can tell what is happening with those, the Council Bluffs hits on the other hand are perplexing.

 

Oolong
Visitor
1 0 0

This is most likely googles site crawler, I think their server is in Council Bluffs.

sanjeevita
Visitor
2 0 1

I also have the same issue. It used to the bot from Boardman, Oregon and now it is from Council Bluff, IA. I have also noticed creation of two fake customer accounts.

TheDigitalYeti
Shopify Partner
12 2 60

I have done some testing and found this is caused by Shopify's new Site Speed Report feature. I have written more about it in the post here;

https://community.shopify.com/c/Online-Store-Speed/Online-Store-Speed-Report/m-p/908894#M390

Make sure you contact Shopify Support and get them to change the feature if it is affecting you.

sanjeevita
Visitor
2 0 1

Thank you, I will look into it.

etmc
Visitor
1 0 1

The same thing has been happening to me  and I messaged shopify and they have assured me it not their bot, I also spoke to google and they have confirmed its not their bots either. 

TheDigitalYeti
Shopify Partner
12 2 60

This is an accepted solution.

I have been doing some research and found out the cause, the Shopify Speed Report.

There are two other topics about this here; https://community.shopify.com/c/Online-Store-Speed/Online-Store-Speed-Report/m-p/908894#M390 or here; https://community.shopify.com/c/Shopify-Discussion/Council-Bluffs-visits/td-p/846963

Shopify runs the speed report using a Google Developer tool (the Google data centre is based in Council Bluffs, USA) which tests 3 pages, Homepage, a popular collection page and a popular product page. Shopify then compares this result to other similar Shopify sites. This test is run daily!

For some sites this is not a problem, but for some smaller sites this can screw with your analytics and conversion rate metrics. If you get 3000 hits a day, 3 extra visits is not an issue - it's only 0.1%. Not every site is as big as that. My site is small and sometimes gets tested twice in one day for some reason. If you use Google Analytics you can exclude these visits from the report. I do not trust Google with my data as I have caught them doing things with my data before, and these visits are messing with the analytics in Shopify.

 

I have raised this with Shopify Support a few times and each time they have "forwarded it to the Development Team" but it seems its not a priority for them.

So if this feature is negatively affecting you, make sure to reach out to Shopify and ask them to turn it off. If more people bring it up, it may get resolved sooner.

Better yet ask them to give you, the store owner, the choice of when or if your site is tested. Manually, Daily, Weekly, Monthly or Annually.

bmac
Tourist
9 0 13

Thank you for this response. The cities for me are Council Bluffs Iowa (like you) and Ashburn Virginia. Both are not metropolitan areas so wasnt making any sense how I received more visits from those two cities than anywhere else in the entire world. Im getting up to 10 a day and I only see about 100 in visits per day so thats 10 percent of total visits coming from the bot?

Ivanm
Tourist
4 0 0

I’m certain it’s Shopify measuring the speed of the site, strange that support would deny this. It sounds to me like a default lvl1 response to the word "bot" without actually investigating (which is typical of my experience with their frontline support). 

The hits started coming through when they introduced the speed measurement and was confirmed on another board as being from Shopify. This discussion has some more information on it:

https://community.shopify.com/c/Online-Store-Speed/Online-Store-Speed-Report/td-p/907165

How else are are they able to measure the speed of the store without crawling sites? 

The hit's aren't impacting anything (and aren't showing up in Google Analytics) so there isn't a big concern with having 3 daily hits.

FlippieHippie
Visitor
2 0 0

 

I'm having them almost daily with numerous sessions.....council bluffs

glasspumkin
Visitor
1 0 0

I just found these posts and realize I am not alone in receiving these 3 simultaneous "visitors"!  How did you find out where they come from ?  I'm in Canada and all I can glean from this is that all three are from the U.S. and all are from mobile devices.  I reported this to Shopify but was basically told it was nothing to worry about.  I did not get an explanation.

 

Thanks,

 

Lynda

BUOYANT
Visitor
1 0 0

We asked Shopify to stop the test. We have since seen hits going up from 3-5 a day to over 50+... 
Not happy with the way it is being handled. Shopify says we have to reach out to Google... It is first from reading one of the answers below that I understand it is a Shopify tool (using Google servers). I just don't understand why Shopify don't see this being an issue?