Semalt: How To Filter Referrer Spam In Google Analytics?



Spam is the inbound digital garbage that you will not like to see, no matter where it pops up. It intends to exploit your personal information, pulls money from your online bank account and downloads viruses and malware on your computer. The spammers manage to find you, whether through the emails, blog comments, your social media likes, and forums. With Google Analytics, it's easy to put a name to the spam traffic bots that destroy your analytics report and deteriorate the marketing decisions.


What is Referrer Spam?


Referrer spam, also known as referral spam, referral bombing, log spam, crawler spam, is the search engine spamming technique where the web crawlers use fake referrer URLs to make repeated visits to your site. The web crawlers try to hide themselves behind a famous brand name and intend to make you believe that another site is feeding legit views into your website. In the Google Analytics account, you can see this effect under the web traffic's referral list. To check that list, you should click on the Acquisition option and then click on the Referrals option. Google Analytics list the URLs that send traffic to your site.
How to filter them?

Here Alexander Peresunko, a top specialist from Semalt, will show you how to locate and filter the spam bots from indexing your site in future.

  1. First of all, you should identify the referrer spam bots. For this, you should open the Google Analytics account and click on the Admin section.
  2. Next, you should click on the All Traffic option and then click on the Referrals option. If you see the list of illegal referral websites, then you should set up the filters that block the bots from returning to your site.
  3. You should select the View section an click on the Filters.
  4. The next step is to click on the Add Filter option and create new filters.
  5. You should always give a proper name to your filters, such as referrer spam for www.abc.com.
  6. For the Filter Type, you should click on the Custom option.
  7. Next, you should Exclude the fake traffic. For the Filter Pattern option, you should make sure that you type this part inaccurately. You may check Google's support guide for more details.
  8. The users are limited to 255 characters per filter, so you should split them up if you have lots of referrer spam bots and multiple domains to type in.
  9. Once you have created the filter, don't forget to click on the Save button before closing the window.


It's possible to verify the filters to how they would affect the views based on the web traffic. You should frequently check your filters to make sure that they are functioning correctly. Depending on the amount of traffic you receive, you can check the Referrals list more often. You should not forget that the referral spam does not visit your website. Instead, it generates fake views, and the bounce rate is 100%. You should also block the ghost spam to ensure your site's safety. For this, you should make the valid host name filters which rely on authenticating the sources of your site's visits.