How to exclude an IPv6 address from your Google Analytics profile data

Today is the World IPv6 Day, and every major Internet player is involved.

Essentially, the Internet is running out of connection space. The way that we connect our computers, our laptops and our mobile devices to get on to the internet is made possible by an IP address that we are assigned as we attempt to log-on and surf the web for work, for pleasure, or both.

The world is running out of IP addresses. Today, June 8, 2011, is the first world-wide scheduled test flight of an improved and enhanced method that will provide over 4 billion times more space than what we have available to us through IP addresses. This method is known as IPv6, and its successful global deployment will make it possible for every man, woman, and child in every country on every continent on Earth to access the internet.

How this process works, and a little background

Have you ever heard of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA)? I’d bet that you probably haven’t. They have one of the most difficult and responsibility-laced jobs in the world: it’s up to the IANA to manage global IP address space allocation. Basically, every IP address in the world is tied back to the IANA.

The IANA works with five regional internet registries (known as RIR’s) to distribute blocks of these IP addresses to local registrars and internet service providers (the company that you pay for internet service).

The IANA is operated by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Numbers and Names (known as ICANN, which you may have heard of before).

So, a possible hierarchy of how an IP address eventually gets assigned to you could look something like this:

ICANN
–> IANA
—–> RIR
———->Your ISP
—————> Your Company
———————> Your computer / laptop / mobile device

A traditional IP address vs. an IPv6 address

A traditional IP address is something that looks like this:

192.168.255.255

This is the traditional IP address (an IPv4 address, to be exact). There are four octets (parts) in an IPv4 address, and each octet must be between 1 and 255. As you can imagine, this means that there are a limited number of combinations possible – 232 (4,294,967,296) addresses to be exact!

Two to the thirty-second power sounds like it’s a lot, but the truth of the matter is that we are very close to reaching that number.

An IPv6 address will look like this:

2001:db8:0:1234:0:567:8:1

Each IPv4 (traditional) address is 32 bits in size (232). An IPv6 address is 128 bits in size, which means IPv6 allows for approximately 340 undecillion addresses (2128). Yes, two to the one hundred and twenty-eight power. That’s definitely more than you can shake a stick at!

Excluding your IPv4 or IPv6 address from your Google Analytics profile data

At MoreVisibility, we feel that one of the ways that we can lend a hand is by showing you how to exclude your IP address (IPv4 or IPv6) from your Google Analytics profile data. It may be that you never are assigned an IPv6 address, or it may be that it takes years for you to get one, so the goal of this blog post is to serve as both a message in a bottle, as well as something you can do today with your traditional IPv4 address.

Let’s start excluding your own traffic from your reports!

Step-by-Step Guide:

1. Log-in to your Google Analytics account.
2. Ensure you have Administrative Access to your Google Analytics account.
3. Ensure that you are using the new version of Google Analytics.
4. Select the appropriate web property / profile that you wish to apply this filter to.
5. Click on the Filters tab.
6. Click on + New Filter.
7. Ensure that you’re creating a new filter, not choosing from an existing filter.
8. Give your filter a name and keep Predefined filter as the filter type.
9. Change the middle of the three drop-down menus to traffic from the IP addresses.
10. At this point, stop what you’re doing for now.
11. Open a new browser tab or window and visit http://www.whatismyipv6.net (or, search for “what is my IPv6 address” on Google and select from a large sampling of websites that will check your IP address).
12. Copy and paste the IP address that is returned to you, and paste it in the IP address form fields back in your Google Analytics account where you just left off.
13. If you checked your IP address and it’s an IPv4 address, place each octet, in order, in the four boxes that you will see. If you checked your IP address and it’s an IPv6 address, check the IPv6 check-box first, and then paste in your IP address into the long form field.
14. Click on Save at the bottom of the page, and you’re done!

Filters in Google Analytics can take approximately 24 hours to activate, so give your new filter about a day or so to start working.

* Sources for this blog post: Wikipedia (IPv6) and the World IPv6 day website.

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