Tips On How To Handle Google Analytics Referrer Spam


August 14, 2017 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ SEO


Semalt Provides Tips On How To Handle Google Analytics Referrer Spam

Generally, Google analytics referrer spam is spam that occurs when hackers try to send data to your Google Analytics account by using the Google analytics data collection API commonly referred to as the measurement protocol. In the real sense, this is not actual traffic to your website. They, however, are fake traffic requests sent to your site by a bot of some kind and like it or not, they will show up in your referrals.

Michael Brown, the Customer Success Manager of Semalt, states that it isn’t the reason for despair. First of all, you need to know that your site is not being purposefully targeted. The hackers are just creating fake IDs and sending you fake traffic requests. It is nothing personal but can be quite annoying.

Google has come up with an initiative to help with the issue. All you have to do is go to your view settings at the administrator interface, scroll down to Bot filtering and check the option, ‘Exclude all hits from known bots and spiders.’ This is not a long term solution, however since fake referrals will pop up every single day.

Another solution you can try out is filters with the intent of excluding referrers. This involves you going to the admin section, and then going to Filters. Here you can set up a filter referred to as a referrer based exclusion filter. This is achieved by clicking Add filter, selecting the Custom type, and then typing the referrer domain names on the filter pattern section.

However, even if you can fully load your site with exclusion filters, the moment a new referrer domain shows up, you will have to generate new exclusions and delete their old ones. Also, you may be overwhelmed with the number of filters that you have to manage.

This begs the question, can I automate filters? The answer is yes, you can go that route. A good example of such a service is the Referrer Spam Blocker. It is a great service as it connects their platform to your Google Analytics account, then chooses the view you want your site to be protected against. They consequentially add exclusion filters to your views.

As much as this is an attractive solution, you cannot use it for most enterprise clients as they have strict rules on how their SaaS services can be accessed by third parties. As at the moment, this is a free service, but eventually, they are bound to fall victim to their success and implement a model for pricing, which may not be in the interests of your client.

Nonetheless, filtering will only get so far, and automated services tend not to be reliable in the long run. This leaves data collection keys. With this option, your data is filtered, and Google analytics will only retain traffics that meets your custom dimensions. It is a unique method that will not get affected by spammers. Also, it is secure and reliable, without requiring any technical knowledge to set it up. This makes it the best option for your Google Analytics account.