How to remove reddit.com referral spam from Google Analytics stats?

by Ugnius Kiguolis - -
12

Question

Issue: How to remove reddit.com referral spam from Google Analytics stats?

Please help to block reddit.com referral on Google Analytics. Apparently, the traffic driving via this domain is fake. Thanks in advance!

Solved Answer

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Reddit.com is a legitimate online blog that has thousands of daily visitors. However, for the past two weeks, the site is dubbed as a referral spam by Analytics community. Thanks to Vitaly Popov and its team of spammers who have exploited legitimate reddit.com URL, attached a nonsensical extension to it and sent to thousands of Google Analytics accounts. While initially, the referrer dimension seems to be normal, copying and pasting it into URL address bar on your web browser redirects to the unknown or even suspicious domain. This way, spammers are seeking to drive traffic to third-party websites.

To spread reddit.com referral spam, spammers need to know the Google Analytic’s property ID, which people often keep in public. Using the help of the machines, hackers or spammers, it’s up to you how to call, send fake hits directly to Google Analytics accounts. Reddit.com fake URL then gets injected into Google Analytics stats. It’s usual practice that people go and check what matter attracted visitors to their sites. Since reddit.com spam typically features hundred percent bounce rate, it’s not surprising why so many Google Analytics users fall for checking it. The biggest problem regarding referral spam is related to the reliability and security of the sites promoted. Even though the genuine reddit.com domain is legitimate and safe to visit, the one misused by spammers may reroute to suspicious sites, which, in the worst scenario, may contain malicious codes. In a nutshell, ghost traffic from reddit.com URL perverts Google Analytics data and may cause redirects to unsafe third-party domains. That’s why we would recommend you to remove Reddit.com referrer from your Google Analytics reports without delay.

NOTE: if you have already visited reddit.com URL address copied from the data on your Google Analytics account, we would highly recommend you to scan the system with Reimage to check the system for malware.

How to block Reddit.com referral spam on Google Analytics?

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Step 1. Change Filter Pattern

  1. Select Admin -> All Filters. Later on, enter New Filter and type reddit.com in the Filter Name box.
  2. Choose Custom Filter Type, then choose Campaign Source from the drop-down Filter Field menu.
  3. Lastly, in the Filter Pattern field, type reddit.com and click Save.

Step 2. Change HTTP settings

  1. Sign into cPanel account, navigate to File Manager section and click on the checkbox called Document Root for -> your website.
  2. Click on Show Hidden Files and then Go. Once you locate the .htacess file, right-click on it and select Code Edit. Enter the following text ant click Save Changes.

## SITE REFERRER BANNING
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} reddit.com
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} reddit.com
RewriteRule .* – [F]

Step 3. Modify Language filter

  1. In your Analytics account, navigate to Admin Tab.
  2. Click VIEW, select Filters and then click +Add Filter.
  3. In the Filter Name box, type: Language Spam.
  4. In the Filter Pattern box, type in: \s[^\s]*\s|.{15,}|\.|,
  5. Click on Verify this Filter and save the changes.

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About the author

Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The problem solver

Ugnius Kiguolis is the founder and editor-in-chief of UGetFix. He is a professional security specialist and malware analyst who has been working in IT industry for over 20 years.

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