How To Remove Referrer Spam In Google Analytics

Use these methods to remove referral spam in Google Analytics

In previous days many readers ask me this question, how to remove spam in Google Analytics? When they checked Google Analytics account they found referrer traffic from unwanted resources.  Take a look at the snapshot, if you see these types of websites in referral traffic report then you are getting spam traffic.

These type of Urls are Referral Spam in Google Analytics

When you see these websites in referral traffic, you think I didn’t use these websites and these websites are not linked to website domain. Novice marketers and startups think they are getting good traffic, but in reality these sources are not providing any traffic to your website.  It’s a trick of spam bots to deliver traffic to spammy websites, as startups open these websites to see where they are linked. When you open the link you are redirected to advertisements or to an online store or to a malware site. These referral resources increases number of visits to websites they refer, no benefit is transmitted to your website.

How To Remove Referrer Spam?

If you are a marketer your clients will ask you about these resources and it’s not easy to make them understand what these resources are?

Many marketers use Filters to Eliminate Ghost and Non-Ghost Referral Spam. You can know how to filter Ghost and Non Ghost referral spam here https://megalytic.com/blog/how-to-filter-out-fake-referrals-and-other-google-analytics-spam.

Using Filters you have to either keep filters updated if you found any new website providing referral traffic  or if you have a WordPress website you can use a plugin (https://wordpress.org/plugins/spamreferrerblock/). If you use this plugin you do not have to update filters again and again.

When I read the above post to eliminate Ghost and Non Ghost spam I thought it’s the best method until I found it only covers the issue not remove it completely. See this post to understand issues with data sampling in Google Analytics (http://www.optimizesmart.com/improve-accuracy-google-analytics-reports/).

I need a solution that completely blocks the referral spam, so you can also try these solutions that I used.

Block Via .htaccess

Blocking via .htaccess is the best way as it blocks the spam bots to access your website domain and server.

SITE REFERRER BANNING
 RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} semalt.com [NC,OR]
 RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} buttons-for-website.com [NC,OR]
 RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} seoanalyses.com [NC]
 RewriteRule .* - [F]

To know more how to block using .htaccess read this post http://www.codediesel.com/security/how-to-block-referrer-spam-traffic/

Deflecting

This is another method I read in the post https://raventools.com/blog/stop-referrer-spam/ but I didn’t try this method yet. As the name suggest it will deflect traffic to source from where it comes, If any reader tried this method can share their views.

Special Note

.htaccess file is really an important file so take a backup before making changes in the file. If you upload a file with error whole website can crash. Also If you do not want to edit .htaccess file you can use WordPress Plugin Wp- Ban that will help you to ban particular IP address or an IP range, host name and referrer spam bots that tries to visit your website.