How to Block Referral Spam in Google Analytics

1 Method: Create an Exclude Filter

What is is a domain name that is owned by Alphabet Inc.. For some reason the domain name has been referrer spamming Google Analytics across the globe. We have noticed referral traffic from on many accounts. It is unknown why is currently spamming Google Analytics data with fake referral traffic. It could be orchestrated by a third-party spammer and not Alphabet. If you visit the URL in your browser you will be directed to a webpage that contains a message from the co-founder of Google and CEO of Alphabet Inc., Larry Page. referral

The URL will utilize various tactics in order to make it look like your website received referral traffic from even though it did not. The referral traffic that appears in your Google Analytics reports did not actually land on your website. It’s a specific type of web traffic that is known as “ghost traffic.” This type of web traffic sends phantom visitors to your website’s data in order to make it appear as if someone visited your website from the referral URL.

It is usually not recommended to trust websites and services associated with known spammers who engage in referrer spam; However, is a legitimate website. Referrer spam is normally a blackhat SEO tactic that disregards your website’s data in order to promote spam content. Someone who engages in referrer spam does not care about ruining your website’s analytical data. They would rather promote their website despite the repercussions and acquire you as a customer by any means necessary. Referrer spam is not a tactic used by legitimate and trustworthy companies and websites.

Referrer spammers usually target your website’s data for several reasons:

  • Referrer spammers want to promote a website and want you to visit the webpage or search for it online through Google search engine results pages.
  • Referrer spammers want to boost their rank on Google search engine results pages by creating backlinks. They do this by logging requests into your website’s access log, which is then crawled by Google’s indexing bots and seen as a backlink to the spam site. Google Analytics referrer spam can actually ruin your website’s analytical data measured by Google Analytics. It can affect most of the data in your reports with fake web traffic and data. For example, the referrals will appear to land on a single webpage on your website and leave from the same website, which will create a 100% bounce rate. If your website is targeted by referrer spammers you may not be able to identify your website’s bounce rate. The same can be said about other data measured in most Google Analytics reports.

Although referrer spam can ruin your analytical data it will not harm your website or affect your website’s SEO, including your rank in Google search results pages. This is simply spam that wants to get your attention.

Create an Exclude Filter

1. Open your Google Analytics account and go to the Admin tab> Cick Filters on the right side in the VIEW section.

2. Click the + ADD FILTER button to create a new exclude filter.

3. Add or something you can easily remember as the Filter Name.

4. Select the Custom Filter Type.

5. In Filter Field, find and select Campaign Source in the list. In the Filter Pattern text box, add and click the blue Save button on the bottom of the webpage. To add multiple URLs to the same filter you can make a Filter Pattern similar to this with a | between each URL: | Example\.com |

Also See: How to exclude all hits from known bots and spiders in Google Analytics (Bot Filtering)

Sean Doyle

Sean Doyle is a tech author and engineer with over 20 years of experience in cybersecurity, privacy, malware, Google Analytics, online marketing, and other topics. Sean's content has been featured in numerous publications.

6 Responses

  1. Peter W says:

    Hi Sean,
    I see that you have posted more of these similiar articles about this referral spam which has been coming up the last days in our google analytics reports. (especially .xyz)
    Maybe you could summerize them for us in a single filter?

  2. Tohir says:

    What impact to our website?, if trafic from abc(.)xyz (ghost trafic).. or it’s just impact to analytic only,,


  3. Azad Shah says:

    Well what I learned from browsing the internet that these spam traffic sites dont hurt your site. We need to confirm this officially confirm from Google though…

  4. Forsal says:

    How can I stop getting them to my website? Is this harming my website? I do not want to exclude them but wants to block them accessing my website.!

    • Bryan says:

      Hi Forsal,

      As you can read in the article, they do not actually visit your website. The spam is designed to make you think someone is accessing your website, but it is actually a ‘ghost visitor’. There is no actual visit on your website. Therefore by adding the filter mentioned in the article you are completely safe, no harm is done to your website.

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