By default, Matomo (Piwik) only tracks visitors with Javascript enabled. Most bots will not execute JavaScript, although more advanced bots can now execute JavaScript.

If you want to track visitors (or bots) without Javascript, you can add an Image Tracker on your pages: Learn more in How do I enable tracking for visitors when JavaScript cannot be used on a page (or for Visitors that have disabled Javascript)?

When using an Image tracker is not possible, you can also call the Matomo Tracking API using HTTP. Check out more information on how to use these advanced tracking techniques in the Matomo Tracking API.

In general there are a few options to track bots and search engine bots using Matomo:

  • Using the Javascript Tracker, you can specifically tell Matomo to track the few advanced bots that will execute Javascript with _paq.push(['appendToTrackingUrl', 'bots=1']);
  • Using the Tracking HTTP API, you can enable the tracking of bots by setting the parameter &bots=1 in the piwik.php tracking request
  • When importing your web server access log files with the option --enable-bots the Search Engine Bots will be tracked

See also: Why do Matomo data reports differ from Google Analytics and other analytics tools?