Semalt Expert From Islamabad: How To Block Google Analytics Referrer Spam
Referrer spam is a growing problem for webmasters and marketers these days. It tricks with your Google Analytics account, distorts genuine visits and extracts useful data to a great extent. A new surge of referrer spam has damaged various Google Analytics accounts and has rendered the traffic reports useless for different properties.
Fortunately, it's possible to block referrer spam in your Google Analytics account. Get down to the tips from Sohail Sadiq, a leading expert from Semalt.
What is referrer spam?
A referrer spam visits your website and leaves the same page within seconds, thus the bounce rate is 100%. Spammers send referrer spam in a large number and use plenty of techniques to send quality traffic directly to their own websites. In other words, we can say that referrer spam aims to send quality traffic to third party website and low-quality visits to your own blog or website. Referrer information is set by different programs, software, and browsers, and can be faked and modified easily. Spammers send fake traffic to your web pages and create an impression that someone has just read your content. As a result, they create backlinks to their pages.
Google Analytics reports are not publically accessible, but spammers get to know your tracking IDs and start sending you fake traffic. Apart from tracking ID, they guess your private codes and WordPress details of third party websites and blogs. This information is then used to send false visit to a large number of sites.
Block referrer spam in your Google Analytics account
Go to the Acquisition >> All Traffic >> Referrals section in your Google Analytics account. If you see some suspicious links or websites here, the chances are that spam has hit your site and you need to block referrer spam as soon as possible. Depending on your traffic quality, the referrers can be useful as well for your site, but the bounce rate should be as lower as possible. Unfortunately, such traffic has a high bounce rate and drags down the overall site metrics. Blocking the referrer spam is straightforward, but requires you to take care of a few things. It's unfortunate that you cannot block the historic spam, but you will be able to improve your site's metrics to a great extent.
The first method to block referrer spam is to make a list of bad referrers and filter them out at once. Even when they change their locations and properties with time, you can constantly add them to the new referrers to ensure your site's safety and protection. If you have blocked them once, you will have to block them in future too, based on the IPs they are using to send you fake traffic. For this, go to the Audience >> Technology >> Network section of your Google Analytics account and create as many filters as possible.
You should bear in mind that most of the spam traffic is under your domain name, valid external name, or an SEO service provider's name. In any way, it's harmful to your site and should be gotten rid of as soon as possible. Some of the sites that you should not forget to add to your filters are SEOThing.co.uk, Googleweblight.com, and Googleusercontent.com.
Removing referrer spam from your existing reports is possible. If you check your existing reports, you might see some spam there that needs to be removed as early as possible. Go to the Segment section of your Google Analytics account and click on the New Segment option. Here you can check whether your existing reports are free from referrer spam or not. If they are not, you can add the specific code to the .htaccess file and get every spam removed.