This guide will show you how to stop adult website referral spam in Google Analytics. There are many pornography and adult websites that use a blackhat SEO tactic known as referrer spam indexing. Referrer spam is designed to promote the website spammers want people to visit and to potentially boost the spam website’s rank in Google SERPs by creating backlinks off of your website’s access logs. Referrer spam targets your analytical data to make it appear as if your website has received referral traffic from specific webpages. Unwanted referral traffic from adult websites is a growing concern for many webmasters and website owners. Adult website referrals from websites like erot.co have been spamming analytical data around the globe for quite some time.

Adult website referrer spam can ruin website data measured by Google Analytics and other analytical services. The website data it can affect includes everything included in the Audience, Acquisition, and Behavior measured by Google Analytics. For example, adult website referrer spam can destroy your bounce rate because the spam URL typically only lands on a single webpage on your website and leaves your website from the same webpage. Referrer spam can also hit your website from sources around the world, from various resources, and more.

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What is referrer spam?

Referrer spam is designed to hit your website with repeated requests at any given time and from any location around the world using traffic bots, computers infected with malicious software, and other blackhat SEO tactics. The benefits that referral spammers have by engaging in referrer spamming is that it will allow them advertise the website they want people to visit and it will improve the spammers search engine ranking by creating backlinks to their website off your website’s access log.

The downside to unwanted adult website 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 target the referral traffic of your website for several reasons:

  • Referrer spammers want to promote a webpage 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 bot and seen as a backlink to the spam site.

Adult website referrer spam is not entirely dangerous to your website. It will most likely not cause any trouble with how your website is accessed by your visitors or ranked by Google. However, in some cases referrer spam may use up your website’s bandwidth and CPU by creating multiple site requests to your website. In other cases, the spam URL is served to your analytical data by traffic bots which create ghost hits and never actually land on your website, which happens to be the case with this URL. They often target your GA ID number.

How to block adult website referral spam in Google Analytics

To block adult website referral spam in Google Analytics follow the instructions below. Blocking adult website referrer spam in Google Analytics by creating an exclude filter will only mask the spam URL. To block the referrer spam URL at the sources see the instructions below to block adult website referrer spam using your website’s .htaccess file.

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

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

block referrer spam

3. Add the URL you want to block 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 URL you want to block and click the Save button on the bottom of the webpage.

How to block adult website referral spam with your .htaccess file

To block referrer spam at the source using your .htacess file add the code below to your .htaccess file. Replace “URLHERE” with the URL you want to block. This method cannot be used to block ghost traffic because ghost traffic does not actually land on your website.

## SITE REFERRER BANNING
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} URLHERE [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} URLHERE
RewriteRule .* - [F]

How to block adult website referral spam with WP Referrer Spam Blocker plugin

I have published a plugin for WordPress website called WP Referrer Spam Blocker. The Referrer Spam Blocker plugin for WordPress can be used to automatically block referrer spam URLs. This plugin cannot be used to block ghost traffic because ghost traffic does not actually land on your website.

  1. Download Referrer Spam Blocker plugin for WordPress.
  2. Go to Plugins > Add New and click Upload Plugin.
  3. Click Choose File and select the referrer-spam-blocker.zip file and click Install Now.

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