Over the past few years, I’ve become well acquainted with Google Analytics and all the fascinating knowledge it provides about my company’s website. The ability to track sources of web visitors to the site has been perhaps the most important benefit of using Analytics. Most of the time, the sources are either direct hits to the website, organic searches or one of our multiple online marketing campaigns that point visitors back to specific pages on the website.
Then something weird began to happen. I noticed that some of our top sources of traffic were things like “website-analyzer.info / referral” and “traffic2cash.xyz / referral.” Like any curious person using the internet, I googled these so called sources and found out that they are known as ghost spam (referral spam). These sources bounce hits in and out of your analytics, despite never sending an actual visitor to your site. This can have a very significant impact on your numbers, which in turn can lead to false information and inflated web marketing statistics.
How did I remove it? I reached out to our friends at Page 1 Solutions, LLC for a fix. Andrew Wasyluk told me a quick and easy way to solve it.
“Removal of referral spam can be done through the use of 'Segments' in Google analytics. By applying a custom segment, you can historically remove the bad data and be left with the data that is coming from valid sources.
The creation of the segment involves using RegEx filters set to exclude entries where the Medium exactly matches 'referral' AND the Source matches the spam site.” – Andrew Wasyluk, Page 1 Solutions, Inc.
It only took a few short minutes, and the ghost spam problem had been eliminated. Unsure of how to navigate Google Analytics? Contact your internet marketing company, or Page 1 Solutions, LLC.
Photo Credit: gemenacom