Semalt: How To Protect Your Analytics Data From Referral Spam

Traffic is an important aspect of every online marketing campaign. In many cases, websites seek to grow their sales and subscribers through finding traffic. Common ways of getting traffic include SMM and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). These and many other techniques seek to improve the online visibility of your site as well as performing numerous back linkage tasks. In other cases, individual may find referral traffic as a gold mine. It forms the basis of a visitor who has an interest in your efforts and is within a niche. Converting such visitors to customers is very easy.

However, not all these links are legitimate. In many occasions, referral links come from users from a referral spam source. It affects websites and many personal accounts. Emails which are spam contain harmful software like malware and Trojans. In some case, they include links which may be from dangerous websites or scammers. Google analytics can detect and eliminate such traffic containing spam messages. From the Google Analytics, referral spam causes numerous bounce rates as well as short session duration.

Alexander Peresunko, the Customer Success Manager of Semalt Digital Services, takes a look on how to keep referral spam and bots away from your analytics data.

Bot filtering in Google Analytics

It is an important measure to include a spam filter. GA has the potential of differentiating a real link from a spam link. Using the filters, GA can block all the links or traffic coming from spiders and bots, not the actual traffic. There are numerous ways which a person can apply a referral traffic spam filter. Commonly, people check the hostname inclusion filter. This method ensures that the traffic coming to your website comes from the hostname itself and not any other source.

In the admin panel, this filter can work alongside other specific customizations. From here you can control the traffic you want using the Google Analytics view. In some individual cases, ensure that you leave some unfiltered light in the admin tab. Once you have an unfiltered view, you are certain not to miss out any important information or email to your website which falls into the spam folder.

When creating filters, it is important to include your hostname alongside all other sources of data you expect. This feature can make the filter allow messages from some particular sources, which can easily look like spam. Spam filters are automatic and may not require any change at all once set up. However, it is important to keep updating their filter pattern expressions. You may find other domains which may be necessary to include in your domain exclusion lists.


Monitoring your traffic is essential for your online website. Most big companies invest some significant amounts of money in monitoring and controlling traffic. In other cases, these companies benefit from the way companies execute spam attacks. Spam emails contain many harmful entities which can make the parties behind interfere with your business or personal information. You can filter ghost referral spam from your website using Google Analytics through the methods above. This process can save your site numerous down times as well as some losses which come about due to successful spam attacks.