Take care of your referral spam

I don’t know about you, but referrer spam is really starting to become a big nuisance especially for small and medium sized businesses. All the seo.xyz referrers showing up in your Google Analytics reports skewing your data and playing havoc with your reporting. Check out your Referral Traffic report in Google Analytics if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

 

Referral Traffic Spam List

 

The good news is there are a couple of things you can do to combat these super annoying referrers!

Filter Out That Referrer Spam

Luckily, Google Analytics let’s you filter out stuff you don’t want to show up in your data, like your personal IP address or referrer spam.

Here’s how you go about filtering out unwanted referrers from your analytics so they don’t show up in the future:

  1. Login to your Google Analytics account and click “Admin” in the top navigation
  2. Under “Account” click “All Filters” and the “+ Add Filter” button
  3. Enter a name like “Referral Spam 1” (I like to number them because you’re going to have many filters due to a 255 character limit)
  4. Under “Filter Type” click “Custom”
  5. Click the “Exclude” radio button and in the drop-down click select “Campaign Source”
  6. In the “Filter Pattern” enter the referral spam domains. Make sure there is a “|” between each one. Here’s a few culprits I have found and filtered: alibestsale.com|.copyrightclaims.org|best-seo-software.xyz|100dollars-seo.com|4webmasters.org|anonymous-redirect.com|best-seo-offer.com|best-seo-solution.com|webmonetizer.net|www.event-tracking.com|www.Get-Free-Traffic-Now.com|youporn-forum.ga
  7. Add the views (websites) you want the filter to apply to
  8. Click the “Save” button and you’re done!

 

Google Analytics Referral Spam Filter

 

Segment the Referral Spam

Dealing with these annoying referrers is an ongoing battle with new referrer spam domains coming out all the time. If some squeaked through don’t worry you can create a segment to clean your reports.

The “All Sessions” segment is displayed by default and like the name says, it shows all your sites sessions. Here’s how you create a new segment that hides the referrer spam from your reports:

  1. Click “+ Add Segment” right beside “All Sessions” in just about any report
  2. Enter a name for the segment, something like “Referrer Spam Filtered”
  3. Click “+ New Segment”  and then select “Conditions”
  4. Filter “Sessions” and select “Exclude”
  5. In the drop-down menus, select “Medium” and “exactly matches”, then enter “referral” into the field and click the “AND” button
  6. In the next set of drop-down menus, select “Source” and “matches regex”, and enter in your referrer spam list. Again, make sure there is a “|” between each one. There isn’t a character limit here, so you can add your whole list.
  7. Click the “Save” button and there you go!

 

google-analytics-referral-spam-segment

 

Referrer Spam List

I’m maintaining a list of all the referral spammers I come across. Feel free to use it in your filters and segments. Also, go ahead and add any you come across in the comments and I’ll add them to the txt file.

 

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