How to block leading-tool.xyz referrer spam in Google Analytics

leading-tool.xyz referrer spam tutorial

Leading-tool.xyz referrer spam targets your Google Analytics account with fake referral traffic in order to grab your attention and make you curious enough to visit the address in your browser. Visitors measured to be referred from leading-tool.xyz do not actually step foot on your website’s server or visit a page on your site since referral traffic from leading-tool.xyz is fake. It will only appear in your Google Analytics data.

leading-tool.xyz referrer spam in google analytics

The domain name is owned by Semalt.com who owns other domain names they use in a similar manner. Semalt.com is a questionable online marketing website who purchases a new domain name each business day and uses it to spam Google Analytics accounts around the world with fake referral in order to ‘promote’ themselves.

The downside to this is that it can have negative implications on your site’s Google Analytics data. Referral traffic from leading-tool.xyz will create a 100% bounce rate and be referred to your website from a page that doesn’t exist either. If you visit leading-tool.xyz you will be forwarded to another website such as http://seo2.homesbyweb.co.uk/?site=http://get-here-web, http://seo2.bournemouthkawasakiracing.co.uk/?site=http://, http://seo2.inkstoneeditorial.com/?site=http://, http://seo2.clientsothersite.com/?site=http://, or other. The page you are forwarded to contains a text field where you can submit your website for an audit and if you submit your site you will be forwarded to https://semalt.com/?s=http://[search term]&ref=test2 and then to https://semalt.com/project/[project ID].

We recommend that you avoid providing Semalt with your email address or a way to contact you because you will receive a large number of deceptive spam messages from Semalt each day.

Is referrer spam harmful?

Referrer spam may seem harmless or somewhat of a nuisance but it can actually ruin your Google Analytics data by manufacturing incorrect information. For example, fake visitors from leading-tool.xyz appear to visit only one page on your site and leave your site from the same page. This creates a 100% bounce rate and measures to 1 page per session. Visitors also average 00:00:00 length of a session, among other changes to various site metrics.

Also, keep in mind that no one was actually referred to your website from leading-tool.xyz. No one used your bandwidth or took a step onto your site’s server, so leading-tool.xyz referral traffic is just filling your reports with false information.

Create a filter to block leading-tool.xyz

  1. Open your Google Analytics account and go to Admin > Filters (on the right side in the VIEW section).
  2. Click the + ADD FILTER button.
  3. Create a Filter Name such as “leading-tool.xyz filter” or “Semalt filter.”
  4. Select the Custom Filter Type.
  5. In Filter Field, find and select Campaign Source.
  6. In the Filter Pattern text box, add leading-tool.xyz and click the blue Save button on the bottom of the web page.

To add multiple domain names to the same filter you can make a Filter Pattern similar to this with a | between each URL: Example.com | Example\.com | leading-tool.xyz

Sean Doyle

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