Last Updated on December 4, 2020 by Social SEO Team
For last few months we have been noticing unusual visits in our google analytics coming from sites like, darodar / ilovevitaly / cenoval, hulfingtonpost.com, o-o-6-o-o.com,
What is Google Analytics Referral Spam?
With little research we realized that the spammers are from Russia and are using Google analytics code to manipulate the visit data to lure the webmasters to the shopping portals to earn commission. It’s not only that nowadays many unethical SEO companies who want to sell your their services have started using Google Analytics Referrer spam, so that their website appear in your Google analytics visitors results. They expect you to click on their website link out of curiosity, and visit their websites and potentially buy their services. This is unethical, and you should not visit the websites as they can harm your business.
Does spam in your Google analytics mean that my website is hacked?
No, your website or Google analytics account is not hacked. The spammers are just using the Google analytics ID, and confusing it into registering a visit from their spam website in order to get the webmasters to open the link. However, be careful before opening those pages, they might contain malware that could infect your computer.
Will the referrer spam hurt my websites ranking on Google?
No, it will not hurt your website’s ranking on Google of any other search engines. The spammers are not actually visiting your website, they are using Google analytics Id and pushing their referrer pages to get registered as a visit. Most likely, they are mass scrapping the Ids using some scrapper software.
How to block the referrer spam?
You can block the websites using Google analytics filtering and using the .htaccess file :
- Login to your Google analytics account.
- Click All filters
- Click New filters
- Enter name of the filter (Use the referrer spam website domain)
- In filter type – Keep predefined selected, and select – “Exclude from the drop-down menu.”
- From the next drop-down select – “Traffic from the ISP domain (first option).”
- In the expressions drop-down select – “that end with”
- In the ISP DOMAIN enter the domain name of the spam referrer website.
- Under apply Filter to views – keep it to “All website data” and click “Add” button
- Click Save
And you are done. It might take Google analytics a couple of days to exclude the traffic coming from the websites.
Removing Google Analytics Referrer spam – Updated Instructions for 2021
It appears that the above methods are not able to stop the referrer spam and webmasters are still seeing fake referrals in their Google analytics account even after following the above methods to stop them. There is one more method that webmasters can apply to stop the fake referrals. This methods seems to be working as we have not experienced any fake referral for few days after using this method.
Follow these steps to get rid of Google Analytics Referrer spam:
- Login to your google analytics
- Click – Admin
- Under properties column click – Tracking info
- Select Referral Exclusion list from the drop down menu
- Click – ADD REFERRAL EXCLUSION button
- Add the referral spam domains in the box.
- Click create button
- Following this method will block all the referral spam domains from showing up in your Google analytics referral list.