How to block referrer spam in Google Analytics

If you maintain a Google Analytics account, you’ve probably noticed suspicious referral traffic from and other domain names. One factor that makes referral traffic stand out is that the visitors appear to land on a page on a site you own that does not actually exist, such as Although the traffic to your site may appear to be legitimate, it’s not. No one was actually referred to your website. The purpose of referrer spam is to catch your attention and persuade you to visit referrer spam

Referral traffic from will create a 100% bounce rate and be referred to your website from a page that doesn’t exist either. If you visit you will be forwarded to another website such as,,,, 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[search term]&ref=test2 and then to[project ID]. owns along with many other domain names and on every business day, will use a new domain name to spam Google Analytics accounts with fake referral traffic.

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 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 No one used your bandwidth or took a step onto your site’s server, so referral traffic is just filling your reports with false information.

How to create a filter

Here’s how to create a campaign source filter to block all referral traffic in Google Analytics.

  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 “ 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 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 |

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.

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