What to do with your “Sign-in attempt prevented” message in Gmail

by Len Barker

Are you getting the Google sign-in attempt prevented error in you inbox?

This could be because of a new security measure that Google just instituted. One of the applications that you have allowed to access your account is probably not using the latest security methods.

The first step is to look at the list of apps you allow and figure out which one is causing the error.  If you are comfortable with the less secure login methods allowed prior to this change, you can tell Google to allow less secure apps.

To allow less secure apps and therefore stop getting those emails about the error, do the following:

  1. Open Gmail from a browser
  2. Click on your picture in the top right of your browser then click My Account
  3. Under the Sign-in and Security area, click on Connected apps & sites
  4. On the right side, scroll down to Allow less secure apps – and turn it on





Len Barker - Rokkit MarketingAbout the Author: Len Barker is very good at changing hats. He is a coder, speaker, teacher, mentor, runner, husband, father and, along with Dave Jacob, owner of Rokkit Marketing and its’ parent company Davalen! Regardless of which hat he wears, he is passionate about commitment and excellence.

That Bot Skewing Your Data – How to Identify and Filter Your Bots in Google Analytics

by Ruth O’Keefe and Justin McGarvie

It’s that time – time to review your website data to get a glimpse of your overall web traffic. You log in to your Google Analytic account and see, wow, a huge spike in traffic! Hurray… or is it?

If you’ve reviewed your metrics and see, no, your huge spike wasn’t due to a great social media post or a new ad you placed then it could just be a bot messing with the quality of your analytic data.

There are good bots and bad bots but all bots skew your data. Basically they do everything from inflate visits to increase bounce rates which all effect your sampling and understanding of your website traffic, not to mention conversion metrics.

So let’s walk through how you can determine if it’s time to hide a certain bot from your Google Analytic reports so you can get back to business.

Identifying Your Bot in Google Analytic

There are several different ways to identify your bot depending on what kind of bot it is, whether it’s malicious (spam bot) or a good ol’ crawling bot. Here are the three areas we tend to search first…

Step 1: Location (Audience > Geo > Location)

Google Analytics - geographically region appearing as (not set)

In our example you see that not only was the geographically region appearing as “(not set)” but 100% were new sessions with a high bounce rate and short session duration. These 3 items alone indicate bot: session length, bounce rate and new vs returning sessions or views. This is still not a completed confirmation the surge was a bot but definitely worth more digging!


Step 2: Traffic Source (Acquisition > Overview)

Google Analytics - High amount of Direct Traffic with high Bounce Rate

Red flag #2! Look at how high the direct traffic was! In the context of this example, it is very unlikely that so many sessions resulted from someone typing the url directly into their browser. Now our eyebrows are definitely raised so we check out one more place before declaring this a bot situation and taking action.

Step 3: Networks (Audience > Technology > Network)

Google Analytics - google inc. - bot service provider

Ding! Ding! Ding! Take a look at the number 1 provider and percentage of sessions, for a little Service Provider named “google inc.” The Service Provider section is the names of the Internet service providers (ISPs) used by visitors to your site and this tells us google is our bot. Common service providers that are typically bots are: amazon.com inc., google inc., microsoft corp, amazonaws.com but there are many more.

Now that we’ve identified our bot – let’s remove it from our reports to keep it from skewing our data moving forward.

Filtering Your Account for Your Newly Found Bot


Step 1: Go To Your Admin settings.

Google Analytics - How To Filter Bots

Step 2: Select Filters under View > All Web Site Data

Google Analytics - How To Filter Bots

Step 3: Select +New Filter


Step 4: Name your Filter and select Custom

Google Analytics - How To Filter Bots

Step 5: Select Exclude and under Filter Field select ISP Organization. Here you enter in your filter, in our example you would put: ^(google inc.)$

Looking to filter more than one? Here are some other common filters you could include: ^(microsoft corp(oration)?|inktomi corporation|yahoo! inc.|google inc.|stumbleupon inc.)$|gomez

Google Analytics - How To Filter Bots

Step 5: Save your new Filter

Google Analytics - How To Filter Bots

Congratulations you just entered your first filter to remove the bots from your view. It is important to note that this does not exclude the bots from visiting your site but does allow for a more accurate portrayal of your true website traffic.

Other Important Reminders:

Figuring out what is really a bot can be difficult once you’ve excluded all the big players. But remember the key indicators and it could help up front. High bounce rate, short session duration and high amount of new visitors!

Make sure to check the box in your view settings under Bot Filtering to Exclude all hits from known bots and spiders.

To do this:

Step 1: Go back to your Admin Settings and under VIEW: All Web Site Data select View Settings

Google Analytics - Bot Filtering

Step 2: Scroll down until you see Bot Filtering. Check the box labeled “Exclude all hits from known bots and spiders”

Google Analytics - Bot Filtering

Step 3: Remember to Save

Google Analytics - Bot Filtering

There are many ways to identify bots crawling through your website. Tell us about ways you uncovered a bot and how you handled it in the Comments section below.

Changes in Google+ Business Photos

When was the last time you viewed or logged into your Google+ Business page? Did you happen to notice a few new fields or that your cover photo doesn’t fit quite the same?

Earlier in 2015 Google changed it’s dimensions for cover photos and added the very cool features of breaking up photos based on profile, logo, cover, team, business-related and more.

Here are some important details to note when updating your business:

  1. Google recommends uploading at least 3 photos in each main category.
  2. Google has specific requirements for each category of image.
  3. Profile photos must be at 250 pixels wide and 250 pixels tall.
  4. Logos must have at least one side larger than 250 pixels (Google strongly recommends you use a square image for the logo)
  5. Cover photos must be at least 480 pixels wide and 270 pixels tall.
  6. All other categories including Interior photos, Exterior photos, Photos at work, Team photos, and Additional photos must have at least one dimension that is 720 pixels or more.
  7. All your older images will go to “Additional Photos” and may not have the optimal size. This means you should clean up your old images or work on getting even better ones for your page.

Right now we really do not have any clue how the new images are going to effect how your business appears on your Google map listing but you can “recommend” which images appear. In the end, Google will showcase the ones that make the sense for their system.

Google+ Business profile update