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Understand information in your reports and troubleshoot reporting issues such as self-referrals, (not set) data, and inaccurate information
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Very strange traffic spikes originating from referral itself

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Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hello, I am posting here because, having had trouble with the way my website is ranked in Google, I am keeping a close eye on my visitor statistics.

I have had a huge amount of annoying referral spam traffic and filtered that out, both through server rules, and Google Analytics rules. I have also configured Google Analytics in order not to take into account known spider traffic.

Sometimes I have some "direct traffic" with a high or 100% bouncing rate, I know that's referral spam that still shows because of the server side rules. It has become very low and I don't care about it because I know what it is.

However I have noticed something extremely strange, some huge traffic peaks at a very specific time, with 100% bounce rate, shown up as originating from referral itself, and supposedly as many new users as visits... All of them at a very specific time (today, at 8AM), for one of my websites.

For another website (the same website, but a different language version, and a different domain name), I've seen the exact same kind of strange traffic spike, with the same 100% bounce rate, even more "new users" originating from " referral", keywords not set. The time was different, and it happened a few days ago, but it's the exact same issue: these obviously fake visits were all grouped at the exact same time (or at least during a specific hour).

And, I know that visits coming from google as a search engine should be marked as google/organic, not

I'm absolutely sure of one thing, it's not natural traffic.

But what the heck is that?

Thanks in advance...

1 Expert replyverified_user
Marked as Best Answer.
Accepted by topic author Briac P
May 2016

Re: Very strange traffic spikes originating from referral itself

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Google Analytics spammers are using the measurement protocol to send the fake hits so they can fake any of the parameters in the payload.

Also check this excellent up to date article about fighting GA spam:

Hope this helps.

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

Re: Very strange traffic spikes originating from referral itself

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Strange, besides giving me a headache, I don't get what their aim is, since in that case they are not passing an information through, such as advertising for a website or something, just making a mess out of my statistics.

Anyway I guess it answers the question, it's yet another annoying referral spam attack...