The Semalt Islamabad Expert Shares 2 Ways To Block Referrer Spam In Google Analytics
Referral spam is the malicious traffic that hits your site from suspicious links, such as darodar.com, and others. Google Analytics automatically identifies where the traffic is coming from and how many seconds a visitor spends on your site.
Sohail Sadiq, a leading expert from Semalt, provides here a helpful guideline in this regard.
If you receive referrer traffic, the chances are that the visitors to your site won't spend more than one second on your pages and the bounce rate will be up to 100%. It's possible to create filters that exclude traffic referred from suspicious domains. When it comes to banning the referrers, you should make sure that you are preventing the hits that originate from the shady and malware sites. You should also remove them from your Google Analytics account as soon as possible. The referral exclusion filters work by comparing your filter patterns and hit the values found in your Campaign Source dimension.
How does Referrer Spam Work?
Two years ago, a Russian spammer named as Vitaly Popov hacked in the Google Analytics account and successfully inserted his spam referral sources there. The actual URLs lead to strange web pages and should not be counted as the valid referrals. It's not the first time when the hackers have done something like this, Alan Bush from Ignite Visibility says that there are multiple spam and referral programs that do the organic search and lead websites to false SEO services. You can be trapped from the social media sites, social bookmarking networks, and all other black hat style sites.
How to Eliminate Referrer Spam
Way#1: Add the Filtered Account View
You can add the filtered account view to get rid of referrer spam. Go to the Admin>Filters>Custom Filter>Language Settings option, and create new filters where you can add as many suspicious websites as you want. If you have some unfiltered views, you should add them to separate filters and don't forget to name your filters as darodar, buttons-for-website and others.
Way#2: Create the Custom Segment
It's possible to create new Custom Segments in the Acquisition>Source/Medium section. This procedure, however, is useful if you have ongoing referrer traffic and your site's ranking is damaged due to it.
If you had not liked to spend lots of time adding spammers and referrer sites to the filters, you could go to the Google Analytics add-ons in the Solutions Gallery section where you can easily segment out the referrer spam. Make sure you have segmented to eliminate the referrals by the Analytics edge and have removed all the annoyed referrals from the Google Analytics reports.
It's regrettable that spammers keep coming with better and effective ways to spam, but there is nothing to worry about. It's part of your job to get rid of them and keep creating filters where the referred sites can be added on a regular basis. You should bear in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to get rid of referrer spam permanently, but you can eliminate, detect and update them by adjusting the settings in your Google Analytics account. If you have ever received referral spam in the Google Analytics account, you should immediately create filters.