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Spike in searches - it doesn't seem ghost referral

ACG
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# 1
ACG
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Hi all,

 

I have seen a sudden increase in searches which is very suspicious. Initially I thought it'd be ghost referrals but when I check what host name this traffic has I only see my site's host name which is weird.

 

This is direct traffic so I don't have a referring site to be a spam crawler.

 

The traffic comes from Ireland, the searches are all generated in the home page and there are exactly 144 searches a day... so I know it's one or the other but the host name/referral info doesn't confirm it.

 

Can anyone explain what it is and how to exclude it from being tracked with GA please?

 

Thanks, A. 

Spike in searches - it doesn't seem ghost referral

[ Edited ]
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# 2
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Hi @ACG,

There are some spams which will capture your exact hostname. You can look for other dimensions such as service provider, screen resolution, Browser size/version,etc and check the bounce rate, Avg session duration metrics which are mostly 100% and 0 sec resp. 
You can then use segments to exclude these spam patterns and look at filtered data.
You can check here for more :https://www.en.advertisercommunity.com/t5/Google-Analytics-Referral-Spam/Huge-amount-of-quot-fake-qu...

 

 

Hope this helps,
Thanks,
Ritwik

Spike in searches - it doesn't seem ghost referral

ACG
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# 3
ACG
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Thanks for providing the link Ritwik B. Just one question: are we saying that we have to exclude this traffic with a segment every time we do some work on GA? I manage multiple properties which means that it'll be difficult to keep up with the conditions of that particular website's referrals/spam to update the segment and apply it every single time I work on GA... 

 

thanks, A.

Spike in searches - it doesn't seem ghost referral

Explorer ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Explorer ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi @ACG,

Its unlikely that different website might have different behavior. I guess, if the condition is such that a real user will never have that configuration only then you can exclude it in view filter.
Check more for : https://www.optimizesmart.com/geek-guide-removing-referrer-spam-google-analytics/

If you have access of all multiple properties on your email, then once you create a segment, it'll be available in multiple properties.
try and experiment with some common condition across properties.
Eg: country does not contain Ireland (if thats not your target market) ,etc

Thanks,
Ritwik

Spike in searches - it doesn't seem ghost referral

ACG
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# 5
ACG
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Hi Ritwik B,

 

 

Thanks for sharing. It's quite a long read so I might take a while. I didn't understand what you meant by 'if the condition is such that a real user will never have that configuration only then you can exclude it in view filter'. Can you clarify please? 

 

Yes, I know that the segment is available in multiple properties but you and other that have access to GA have to remember to apply it every single time they check something... it's not ideal, is it? Can't we identify this somehow and apply filters to exclude them from appearing in the view? 

 

Thanks again for your help and Best Regards, A

Re: Spike in searches - it doesn't seem ghost referral

Explorer ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Explorer ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi @ACG,

Recently, there was a language spam which affected lots of analytics properties.
When you apply secondary dimension as language you get this:

GoogleDoubt21.png


Actually what i meant was, the real user will never have this configuration(language), so i can safely exclude this via view filters.
So if you could identify some of the dimensions reporting out of the box stats, you can exclude it via view filters.
You can check some of the blogs out there which mention some of the dimensions to look at.


Thanks,
Ritwik

Spike in searches - it doesn't seem ghost referral

ACG
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# 7
ACG
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Oh yes, I am already on this type of spam to exclude them with filters Smiley Happy thanks

Spike in searches - it doesn't seem ghost referral

ACG
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# 8
ACG
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Hiya,

 

I have another question still related to the main thread... I hope you don't mind.

 

If you created that segment to exclude your referral or spam traffic but then you had to work with other segments on top of that, how would it work? How would you do it, please?

 

Thanks and Regards, A.