Stop referral spam in Google Analytics is a potentially malicious referrer spam URL that targets your Google Analytic data. It is different than common referrer spam and ghost traffic because if you visit it will automatically download a file titled download.exe onto your computer that might harm or track you. A scan of the file was inconclusive which means that it is new and not many Antivirus and Anti-Malware vendors are familiar with it. If you notice referral traffic in your Google Analytics data do not visit the website. referral engages in the referrer spamming tactic in order to promote the website and get you and other victims to visit it. The way this specific referrer spam works is that you will notice and increase in referral traffic mixed into your Google Analytics data which may provoke you to visit the website. Once you visit the website an unspecified file will automatically download onto your computer. The file will download into your “Downloads” directory. If you have downloaded the file delete it and scan your computer for malware with a reputable tool such as Malwarebytes. google analytics referrer spam is a problem for many webmasters and website owners. Not only is the file associated with the URL dishearteneing, referral traffic can ruin your website’s analytical data with phantom traffic that never actually lands on your website, but instead targets your Google Analytics ID. For example, the URL usually makes it look like it landed on a single webpage on your website and left from the same webpage which can mess up your bounce rate. This is not the only Google Analytics data that referral spam can ruin. It can essentially junk-up everything reported in the Audience, Acquisition, and Behavior sections with useless data.

Luckily, we have created a guide to block and stop referral spam in Google Analytics by creating an exclude filter that targets the Campaign Source. This will stop referrals from ruining your data measured by Google Analytics.

Quick Links

What is is one of the latest referrer spam URLs that targets your website’s analytical data with nonsense referral traffic in order to trick you into visiting the website. The URL may be malicious. The URL is hosted alongside other webpages that are known to contain exploit kits that can harm your computer.

One of the downsides to unwanted referral traffic for website owners is that it can mess up the appropriate Google Analytics data and other website metrics provided by third-party services. In some cases it can also use up your website’s bandwidth by creating repeated site requests. However, this is not the case with this URL since it primarily generates ghost hits that do not actually land on your website.

Spammers typically target the referral traffic of your website 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.

Stop with an exclude filter in Google Analytics

This guide shows you how to stop referral spam in Google Analytics by creating an exclude filter to block referrers.

1. Open your Google Analytics account and go to the Admin tab and click All Filters.

how to block referrer spam

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

block referrer spam

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

4. Select the Custom Filter Type.

block referrer spam google analytics

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 address you can make a Filter Pattern like this: | |

Sean Doyle

Sean Doyle is an engineer from Los Angeles, California. Sean's primary focuses include Internet Security, Web Spam, and Online Marketing.