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One traffic uptick on your website which will disappoint you! Spam bots are inflating your referral traffic in Google Analytics; learn how to trick it away

By Chetan Saxena

There is a buzz among webmasters about the spam traffic coming in from spam URLs, mainly from Russia and countries which have no relevance to your business. Scan your referral traffic and don’t be happy looking at the sudden surge in traffic, as this increase in referral traffic is pseudo. For those who are still unaware of the situation, let me just take you back from where it all started with one of our clients.

Just the other day, when I was struggling to analyze traffic at Google Analytics and Booom! What I saw was a stupendous surge of traffic coming in from Russia on my website just in a single day. At first instant, I got super excited but later on I paused to do a double check of the stats. As I went on to dig further, I realized that these visits were featuring under direct traffic. . The rate of percent of new visitors, average time on site and bounce rate figures are appalling.

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So, I decided to first look at the referrals traffic to see from where such a massive traffic came? As soon as I delved deeper into my research, I found out the culprit. This voluminous traffic came from Russia from ‘forum.topic darodar.com’

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When I clicked on the link, it redirected to various shopping websites. which had an Adsense motive.

HOW’S IT POSSIBLE AT ALL?

Spammers use all the data which is freely available like the UA number of your account and the data analytics code. Spammers then use the code and account number on their site after which the data gets recorded in your account instead of theirs.

This is the biggest dupe ever seen to trick Google Analytics traffic worldwide. Hence, to counter this attack from spammers, Google Analytics (GA) has announced that it is adding bot and spider filters to exclude traffic from known bots and spiders. But, now the question arises as to how to find such bots and spider spammers. Don’t worry, as per my observation, I am listing several sites which you should consider in filtering –

  1. com
  2. make-money-online.7makemoneyonline.com
  3. ib.adnxs.com
  4. ib.adnxs.com
  5. icafemanager.com
  6. bugs3.com
  7. websiteforever.com
  8. topic71754.adviceforum.info
  9. topic51754.adviceforum.info

 

METHODS TO BLOCK SPAM SITES

There are two methods to block such spam sites which will restrict their entry into your website. Thus, if you cut the access, i.e. the first entry point to your account, you will be protected from a spam attack.

  1. GA Trick: Watching this trend closely, Google Analytics has inserted a new checkbox option in the view level of the management user interface. It is labeled as “Exclude traffic from known bots and spiders”. This will work as a profile filter and will thus allow you to identify the real number of visitors that are coming to your site.
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  1. Mass Spam Block By Adding Code in .htaccess file: If you are looking for ways to block the mass spam, add the following code in .htaccess file for all the known spam sites.

SetEnvIfNoCase Referer semalt.com spambot=yes

Order allow, deny

Allow from all

Deny from env=spambot

  1. Block using Filter: log in to your GA and go to Admin > select property view > create a Filter – Custom – Exclude – field name Hostname and use ‘spam site name’ without the quotes.
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Nevertheless all fake referrers from my GA dashboard are gone.

  1. Method for Blocking Traffic Coming From A Single Referrer As Well As Multiple Referrers:

Block traffic from a single referrer:

RewriteEngine on # Options +FollowSymlinks RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} badsite\.com [NC] RewriteRule .* – [F]

Block traffic from multiple referrers:

RewriteEngine on # Options +FollowSymlinks RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} badsite\.com [NC,OR] RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} anotherbadsite\.com RewriteRule .* – [F]

For complete tutorial, visit Comprehensive guide to .htaccess- Blocking users/ sites by referrer

2 Responses to “One traffic uptick on your website which will disappoint you! Spam bots are inflating your referral traffic in Google Analytics; learn how to trick it away”

  1. Thanks for this article – was receiving a lot of traffic from one of the above sites and could not pinpoint where it was coming from. This was really helpful!

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