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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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Spam traffic source Direct / None from US

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi All,

 

I've read a couple of similar issues but no answer at the moment.

Since july 2015, I've seen the traffic from USA increased a lot, all from source direct / none, with a bounce rate close to 100%.

 

It obviously messes up my numbers, duration, bounce rate, conv rate...

 

I've done a segment to filter this traffic but I would like to find another solution, and understand where does this traffic come from ?

 

Thank you for your help.

 

Romain

2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Spam traffic source Direct / None from US

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hi Romain,

Unfortunately it's not traffic on your site that you can block. The spammers are using the measurement protocol so they are sending the data directly to Google Analytics without actually visiting your site. They can fake every parameter in the payload so it is very difficult to filter them out. The segment you've set up is a good workaround, so you exclude zero second direct/none home page visits. Hope this helps.

Arnold Majlath, Google Analytics Top Contributor
Circle Me On Google+ | Visit me @ Redfly Digital

Re: Spam traffic source Direct / None from US

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thank you for your quick support. I've done that segment:

Conditions
Landing Page: contains "/"
Session Duration = 0
Source/Medium: contains "(direct) / (none)"
Country: contains "United States"

is it right ? Can I do something to have my view automatically filtering these spam ?
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Romain B
November 2015

Re: Spam traffic source Direct / None from US

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor
Hi Romain,

Your landing page condition should be set to "exactly matches" because other page paths can also contain "/"
Other than that it seems to be fine as long as you combine your conditions using the AND operator.

You can set up a filter to include traffic to your hostname only so traffic with fake or missing hostname will not be tracked. If a crawler has collected your hostname they can fake it in the payload so you cannot filter it out.

Also it worth noticing that usually the properties ending in "-1" are the most affected with spam, properties ending in "-2" are less affected. Hope this helps.

Arnold Majlath, Google Analytics Top Contributor
Circle Me On Google+ | Visit me @ Redfly Digital

Re: Spam traffic source Direct / None from US

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thank you.

I've tried to filter using the hostname but it doesnt help.
I've changed the segment, thanks for that it will be more accurate but still not the most convenient option.
Can't I use a filter to exclude this traffic ?

How can I change the property ID?

Re: Spam traffic source Direct / None from US

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor
Unfortunately you cannot set up a filter for session duration because filters work on hits.
There is no way to change a property ID. You can only create a new one and use that.

Arnold Majlath, Google Analytics Top Contributor
Circle Me On Google+ | Visit me @ Redfly Digital

Re: Spam traffic source Direct / None from US

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
One option to solve this would be to create a segment that only includes sessions that include your url parameters in the hostname.


Re: Spam traffic source Direct / None from US

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thank you for your reply.

I've tried to set up a filter based on the domain name but it didn't change anything.
How can I do a filter based on the url parameters ?

Re: Spam traffic source Direct / None from US

Explorer ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
Explorer ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi it's me (AbbieRobertsSEM)

You don't need to use filters at all. Just use segments. It's much more useful to keep your data complete and view it without being destructive (unless you are creating new views to filter spam, have you done that?).

Try JUST creating a segment like this: Advanced> Conditions

Hostname > contains > variations of your website url and your brand name

Does this make sense?

Re: Spam traffic source Direct / None from US

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 10
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Abbie Thank you for your help.
I've just tried this but it doesn't exclude the spam traffic.The following works:

segment -> Advanced -> Conditions
Landing Page: exact match "/"
Session Duration = 0
Source/Medium: contains "(direct) / (none)"
Country: contains "United States"

I'm not 100% happy with the segment solution as I'm building a reporting dashboard using the API. This reports would have to be based on the segment which will complicates everything but it seems to be the only solution!