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Snip.to referral spam in Google Analytics

Stop Snip.to referral spam in Google Analytics

Snip.to is one of the latest domain anmes that engages in a blackhat SEO tactic called referrer spam indexing. The spam URL targets your website’s analytical data measured by Google Analytics and ruins it with deceptive and fraudulent referral traffic that never actually lands on your website. You may have noticed an increase in snip.to referral traffic in your Google Analytics account. The domain and variations of the domain such as site2400288.snip.to are designed to promote websites that spammers want you and other people to visit. In some cases it can essentially boost the spam URL’s rank in Google search result pages by creating backlinks off your website’s access logs. At this time, the spam URL forwards to propellerads.com and other webpages. Variations of the domain name will forward to other webpages including sharebutton.to. All of these domain names are hosted together and owned by the same entity.

snip.to referral

Snip.to referrer spam and referrer spam in general from other URLs like copyrightclaims.org is a growing problem for many webmasters, website owners, and anyone who values their website’s appropriate analytical data. Referrer spam can ruin website data measured by Google Analytics. The website data it can affect includes everything measured in the Audience, Acquisition, and Behavior areas as calculated by Google Analytics. For example, Snip.to 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.

Quick Links

What is Snip.to?

Snip.to is a domain name used to hit your website with nonexistent referral traffic from different locations 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.

Snip.to referral spam in Google Analytics

The downside to unwanted Snip.to 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.

Snip.to 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 stop Snip.to referral spam in Google Analytics

To block Snip.to referral spam in Google Analytics follow the instructions below. Blocking Snip.to 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 Snip.to referrer spam using your website’s .htaccess file.

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 Snip.to 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 Snip.to and click the Save button on the bottom of the webpage.

How to stop Snip.to 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. This method will not work against ghost traffic that never actually lands on your website but it can be useful to terminate many referrer spam URLs from accessing your website.

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} snip.to [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} snip.to
RewriteRule .* - [F]

Lead Editor

Sean is a tech author and engineer with over 20 years of experience in cybersecurity, privacy, malware, Google Analytics, online marketing, and other topics. He is featured in several publications.

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