How to filter your Google Analytics results from referrer spam?

Issue: Hi. I have problems with my website analytics. It seems that my site is being spammed by this domain which continuously sends referral requests and distorts Google Analytics results. Is there a way to eliminate these referrer entries?

Solved Answer

Referrer spam is a major issue that the webmasters deal with on a daily basis. While some of them seek referrers purposefully, others stay away from them as far as possible. In general, this blackhat SEO tactic is meant to attract the site owners attention, boost the traffic of the referrer website and gain a better ranking in Google’s search results. Needless to say, such activity prevents the site owners from monitoring what is actually going on with their sites, since the referrer may distort Google Analytics results by referring to pages non-existent on your website or to enter and leave the site creating a high bounce rate. Secret.ɢ, or are just a few of sites that work this way. While there is virtually no way to stop the spammers from referring your site, you can work around the fake traffic by filtering it. Below we provide 3 basic filtering tactics which will help your block traffic and purify Google Analytics results.

Method 1: Enable campaign referral path filter

You can block all spam received from individual web pages like so:

  1. In your GA account find the Admin tab and select Filters. You will find it in the View section
  2. To create a new filter click + ADD FILTER and create a title for it
  3. In the Filter Type section choose Custom
  4. Once you’ve done that, go to the Filter Field and look for an entry called Campaign Referral Path. Select this entry and add /n/google-russian-spammer to the Filter Pattern text box.
  5. Click Save.

Method 2: Enable campaign referral source filter

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To hide traffic, you can also use the campaign referral source filter, here is how to enable it:

  1. Go through the steps 1, 2 and 3 indicated in the Method 1
  2. When in the Filter Field, look for Campaign Source and add to the Filter Pattern box. If you want to block more than one source, simply separate the URL’s in question with a vertical line symbol |.
  3. Click Save.

Method 3: Adjust language filter

In case the referrer spam appears in the Analytics settings as keywords, search queries or phrases, the easiest way to filter it out is by managing language settings.

  1. Repeat the steps 1, 2 and 3 described in the Method 1
  2. In the Filter Field select Language Settings and add a new Filter Pattern \s[^s]*\s|.{15,}|\.|,
  3. Then, confirm this selection by clicking Verify this filter
  4. After the preview of the language spam table, click Save.

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About the author
Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Security researcher

Lucia Danes is the news editor at UGetFix. She is always on the move because the eager for knowledge makes her travel around the globe and attend InfoSec events and conferences.

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