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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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Simple way to exclude spam referral traffic?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi everyone. 

 

I am learning a lot at the moment from having to set things up beyond the initial stuff I have done previously on GA! 

 

I have a couple of referral traffic sites showing on GA that are spam, how do I exclude them from the report permanently so that they don't skew the data please?

 

 

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Simple way to exclude spam referral traffic?

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hi Lauren,

You can set up a hostname inclusion filter to include traffic only to your hostname.

To set up this filter go to Admin -> View -> Filters click Add filter. Add a name select Predefined choose "Include only" then "traffic to the hostname" "that contain" and put yourdomain.com into the field.
Verify the filter before saving to check that everything is ok.

You can also set up a filter to exclude spam crawler bots.

For this filter choose Custom type then Exclude, for Filter field choose Campaign source and for filter pattern enter the list of the domains you want to exclude like this:

semalt\.com|free-share-buttons\.com|free-social-buttons\.com|simple-share-buttons\.com|social-button\.com|sharebutton\.net|get-free-traffic-now\.com|event-tracking\.com

It is possible to send data directly to Google Analytics via the measurement protocol. Through the measurement protocol it is possible to fake any type of hit (page views, events) and also all of the payload parameters can be faked. The spammers can provide any value in the payload parameters so the traffic looks legit. Unfortunately there is no way to completely filter out this type of spam. Hope this helps.

Arnold Majlath, Google Analytics Top Contributor
Circle Me On Google+ | Visit me @ Redfly Digital
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Lauren R
November 2015

Re: Simple way to exclude spam referral traffic?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Lauren,

This is something that many of us have been struggling with. There's a great guide for removing ghost traffic/referral spam from Ahrefs:

https://blog.ahrefs.com/ghost-referral-spam/

The problem with creating an exclusion list and filtering through there is that it is a perpetual game of whack-a-mole. The names change all the time and new referral spam sources pop up every day. The above link will show you how to continually identify and add new sites fairly easily.

If you're looking for a quick and dirty way to get it done, just segment your traffic and ignore visits that are 1 second or shorter. That will get you pretty close. Some real traffic will get caught in the wake, but the number of real people who hit your site and leave in under 1 second is going to likely be fairly small and will likely be people who clicked by mistake.

All that being said, the unfortunate bottom line is that there's no silver bullet for this issue.

Mike

Re: Simple way to exclude spam referral traffic?

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Ignoring users under 1 second might not be a good idea.. because we need to know the real bounce rate of the website. I wish Google come up with a solution soon.