How to get your Spam data out of Google Analytics Referrals

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We have observed lately that in many companies the occurrence of ” referral spam ” has been increasing and more recurrent. In other words, companies have been victims of automated programs that generate visits by robots. Result: some strange domains end up highlighting for bringing a lot of traffic to the site. But, for they are not the actual organic visits, data on the references in Google Analytics become false or poorly measured.

 

 

Thus, measuring the success of your website data, since the number of visitors to a profitability calculation and conversion, are compromised. With a large volume of false data you can make wrong decisions based on erroneous data.

Why worry about blocking and filtering of these sites?

This false visits are kind of scam so you click on the link page on your analytics and go to the indicated site. The purpose of this action is to get you to click on any website link (mostly of ads or keywords with links) so that they make money from this your click.

If your site has a great deal to our blog (more than 150,000 visits / month) these links will not be a problem. But if your site does not have this volume is very likely that this move create a big noise in your analytics and consequently will affect your calculation targets, negatively influencing your conversion rates in the sales funnel.

How to Filter Spam Bots?

Today there is no 100% effective way to prevent this type of scam, it is something that should be solved by Google. But, we recommend two ways that can help you solve this problem.

1 – Set up your Analytics (basic method)

It is important to set up filters for analysis to remove historical data as well as to help filter any other links that we can find from certain countries in the future. Follow the steps below to configure the filters.

1 – Access your Google Analytics.

2 – From the top menu of your account please “Administrator”.

 

3 – You will find three columns. In the “DISPLAY” column to search for and click “Filters”

4 – Click + New Filter.

5 – Enter a name for the filter.

6 – Select Filter type “Default”.

7 – In the field below the filter type you will find three options. In them you must enter the following configuration: Delete> traffic to the hostname> with “

8 – After the seventh step of the settings, go to “Host Name” and enter the domain that appears in your analytics and does not belong to him. Arriving at this step the settings should be like the image below:

9 – Save and repeat the process from step 4 for each domain it finds and does not belong to him.

It should take a few hours until the filter to take effect in your Analytics account.

2 – Locking means .htaccess (advanced method)

This is a more advanced form of blockage and usually requires the help of a programmer / developer. For this method, the best way to block those hits to your site is generally block them in your .htaccess file in the root of your domain directory. You can copy and paste the following code in your .htaccess file, assuming you are on an Apache server. This is a good method because it is better than just blocking the domain in question. See the example below presented by Moz :

# Referrer Spam Block Russian

RewriteEngine on

RewriteCond% {HTTP_REFERER} ^ http: //.*ilovevitaly \ .com / [CN, OR]


RewriteCond% {HTTP_REFERER} ^ http:. //.*ilovevitaly \ .ru / [CN, OR]


RewriteCond% { HTTP_REFERER} ^ http: //.*ilovevitaly \ .org / [CN, OR]


RewriteCond% {HTTP_REFERER} ^ http: //.*ilovevitaly \ .info / [CN, OR]


RewriteCond% {HTTP_REFERER} ^ http: / /.*iloveitaly\.ru/ [CN, OR]


RewriteCond% {HTTP_REFERER} ^ http: //.*econom \ .co / [CN, OR]


RewriteCond% {HTTP_REFERER} ^ http: //.*savetubevideo \. com / [CN, OR]


RewriteCond% {HTTP_REFERER} ^ http: //.*kambasoft \ .com / [CN, OR]


RewriteCond% {HTTP_REFERER} ^ http: //.*buttons \ -for \ -website \. com / [CN, OR]


RewriteCond% {HTTP_REFERER} ^ http: //.*semalt \ .com / [CN, OR]


RewriteCond% {HTTP_REFERER} ^ http: //.*darodar \ .com / [CN]


RewriteRule $ ^ (. *) – [F, L]

But beware: .htaccess is an important file because it tells you how your server behaves. If you upload a .htaccess file with a character out of place, you can bring down your entire site. Before making any changes to the file, it is important to create a backup. If you do not feel confident to make these issues, see the WordPress plug-in below.

Using WordPress and do not want to edit your .htaccess file?

For these cases you can use the WP- Ban plugin to ease the blockade of unwanted visitors. Wp -Ban gives the ability to ban users by IP, IP range, host name, user agent and URL visits reference to your blog, all from the WordPress admin panel. This is a great option for people who do not want to edit your .htaccess file or do not feel safe to do so.

Other links that can help

The very Moz listed some other sites you can find more information on how to deal with Referrer Spam:

  1. http://www.optimizesmart.com/geek-guide-removing-referrer-spam-google-analytics/
  2. https://megalytic.com/blog/how-to-filter-out-fake-referrals-and-other-google-analytics-spam
  3. http://blog.raventools.com/stop-referrer-spam/
  4. http://www.analyticsedge.com/2014/12/removing-referral-spam-google-analytics/

Conclusion

The most important thing is to always keep track of what’s happening on your site. How it behaves, what are the origins of access, and most importantly, how to use it to boost your business. In this respect, Google Analytics is vital to study the data. Always keep your site free of such issues as the Reference Spam will bring insights and strategic real results for your business.