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Learn to identify referral spam traffic, as well as best practices to reduce referral spam in your Google Analytics account
 
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Receiving Direct Traffic From Network Domain Unknown.Unknown

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Good Morning,

 

I am going through my direct traffic report in Google Analytics after receiving lots of ghost spam.

 

I have been able to eliminate some fairly obvious ones, however there are some sources that I do not know exactly what to classify as.

 

The one's in question are listed as unknown.unknown , com and (not set).

 

Any ideas as to what this traffic is?

 

Thank you, I appreciate the help!

 

- Charles

 

 

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Receiving Direct Traffic From Network Domain Unknown.Unknown

[ Edited ]
Rising Star
# 2
Rising Star

Hi Charles,

 

A common reason for the ghost spam to show as direct is using the "Referral Exclusion List" for spam, what this will do is to strip the referral part and leave the "visit" as direct. If this your case, just remove the spam from the list, and create a segment with your valid hostnames to clean your data.

Another reason is bot traffic, most of the time there is no source so you will have to check different dimensions to find a pattern that you can exclude safely with a filter or a segment.

 

UPDATE (03/24/2018): Not all (not-set) and Unknown.Unknown network domains come from spam or bots, in fact, is common to find real traffic with this values as network domain. It's better to use other dimensions to find patterns like hostname, service provider, browser version to find bot/spam traffic.

Hope it helps,

Google Analytics Rising Star | Was my response helpful? If yes, please mark it as the 'Best Answer.' Learn how here!
Analytics Consultant at Carloseo.com - Find me on Twitter | Email me

Re: Receiving Direct Traffic From Network Domain Unknown.Unknown

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thanks Carlos!

I went back into analytics and it seems that since it started tracking in April 2014 there has been traffic each month from Com, Unknown.unknown & (not set), but it increased dramatically in October 2015.

I am currently working on putting together a report for the client, is it safe to say that visits from these three categories I mention above should be removed from the Direct Traffic totals for each month?

I have already removed lots of other sources that were spam, based on information I found in some of your blogs and posts online.

Thanks a lot for all of your help and for your other posts, which I used to help ID the other spam sources.

- Charles


Receiving Direct Traffic From Network Domain Unknown.Unknown

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

"If this your case, just remove the spam from the list, and create a segment with your hostnames to clean your data."

 

How would you do that?

Re: Receiving Direct Traffic From Network Domain Unknown.Unknown

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Carlos! I'm seeing a big increase from Direct and Social - I followed the instructions in your post above and I'm having a hard time determining a consistent pattern to exclude.  Have you seen this too? I would say it began about Dec 2017 and is getting increasingly worse.  A few things that I have determined are: 

 

- Most Users are labeled from South Africa 

- When I add 2nd Dimension, Network Domain - I'm seeing many listed as the same number of users with the identical # of new users and sessions (Which appears to be way too consistent_ 

- When I look at bad period over good period the bounce rate is actually better - most of these "bot looking" users have 0% bounce rate rather than the 100% you mentioned *AND* pages per session increased from 1.84 -> 9.52 while average session duration increased over 1K% from 1:17 -> 16:31. 

 

It's making me nuts and I was wondering if you had any thoughts on this?? I follow your blog closely and consistently use your GA Spam Guide.  I would appreciate any insight you have!! Thank you in advance.  

 

I'll attach a few screenshots as visuals. 

 

GA1.PNGGA2.PNGGA3.PNG

 

 

Receiving Direct Traffic From Network Domain Unknown.Unknown

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Dear Miss

 

I am facing same problem but after 3days of wondering around nobody is helping.

 

I am getting 5000 users per day whereas I usualy get 300 to 400 visits per day.

 

I am getting frustrated and need to know if someone can help.

 

I have seen from Domain network settings in Google Anyltics that I am getting traffic from following

 

Unknown.unknown

And Virtua.com.Br

 

I need help its really crazy