Block Google Analytics Referral Spam

If you have landed on this page due to a recent encounter with referral spam – we have some good news for you. You don’t need to search any farther, as we have everything you need to know about this cyber nuisance right on this page. In the following article we will tell you everything about and its kind, as well as what you should and shouldn’t do as a means to fight it. What’s more, we will give you a set of thorough instructions that will shot you exactly how to block the spammers and remove their effects from your statistics. You will find our removal guide just below this article. But we would recommend that you first read through the following few paragraphs before jumping headfirst into the removal guide. The basics

First off, let’s start by saying that is not malicious. No form of referral spam really is, meaning it’s not going to cause you any harm. However, that’s not to say that referral spam isn’t problematic or shouldn’t be addressed at an early stage already. It can really end up messing up your stats and the longer you take no action against it, the more severe the impact on your stats will be. So, in order to understand the way functions, we’d first need a little bit of history. You are currently faced with a subtype of referral spam known as ghost spam. Before it was the classic referral spam, which is practically no more these days. Classic referral spam would send crawlers and bots to various target websites, much like your own. These bots and crawlers would initiate visits that would appear in the statistics of the websites as having pretty much no session time and a near 100% bounce rate. In addition, the views would normally be numerous. So, the goal of this would be to attract the attention so the website owners or admins. Ideally, these people would get curious enough to want to check the visiting (spamming) website out – the one that appears to have been visiting their site.

As a result, by clicking back on the spamming website, they would be generating traffic for it. Now, some years ago Google was able to hunt down classic referral spam and drive it to near extinction. However, that’s when ghost spam entered the scene. The ghost spammers took a slightly different approach, but all to the same end. Instead of employing the use of bots and crawlers to do the dirty work, they took straight to the statistics of the targeted websites. So now, instead of actually creating visits, they simply put that data into the stats. Basically, they only create the impression that you’ve been receieving views from the spamming site. What’s more, it would still follow the same scenario of many visits with no session time. Again, to aim is to get the website owners to generate traffic for this spamming site.

Now, the problem with all this is that over time you will have a very distorted perception of your actual traffic and website audience. For that reason it’s important to deal with as soon as possible. But watch out for options that won’t be doing you a favor. Such an option is the Referral Exclusion list. If you use it to report the spammers and hope that that will make the issue go away – you will be disappointed. Moreover, this will actually make matters worse for you, because you will be asking Google Analytics to follow up on visits that never really happened. And since it’s only a piece of programming, it will end up confused with your request. And as a direct result of this, it will start marking these visits from the spamming site as real traffic. So, now you will not only have statistics that are filled with false data, you will also be paying for it, too. As you can see, this doesn’t solve the problem, but in fact worsens it. Don’t listen to what you may find online if it involves relying on the Referral Exclusion list for dealing with referral spam. Instead, use the isntructions provided below. And as a means of preventing future encounters like this, we would recommend upgrading to a better hosting provider. That’s because your hosting service is essentially responsible for spam filter and spam-blocking mechanisms. Logically, by investing in a better service, you will be investing in better protection.

Block in Google Analytics

Instruction #1: Enter your Analytics account.
After that load Admin and then – All Filters.

Instruction #2: After that, hit New Filter.
Next, add in the Filter Name value.

Instruction #3. Choose the Custom Filter Type. 
Once you see the Filter Field, go with Campaign Source.
Next, when you see the Filter Pattern text box, enter Confirm by clicking  the Save button you will see at the bottom.

How to block referrer spam using your .htaccess file

If you are aware of a way to access your .htaccess file, you will just have to write the  code below in there:


RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} [NC,OR]

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER}

RewriteRule .* – [F]

In case you are not aware of a way to access it, follow these instructions:

Access your cPanel account,
the go to File Manager.
After that you should mark the check-box ‘Document Root for’.
Then go to your webpage.
Another important tip: choose ‘Show hidden Files’.
After that select Go. 
Look for the .htacess file.

Once you find it,  rightclick it.
From the options that appear, select Code Edit.
Enter the code above and Save Changes. 

Hopefully, we have been helpful! Tell us in the comment section. We will be glad to read what your opinion is!

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