Spam Bots Impacting Referral Traffic

In the last month, our agency started seeing a traffic spike within our Google Analytics account. In fact, we saw it across the board for our clients, as well. At first glance, it seemed like a definite win, with the number of in-bound links increasing, and traffic steadily progressing from these links.

However, after further investigation in Google Analytics, we had to attribute this “growth” in referrals to spam sources, from mostly what appeared to be solicitation domains. Those included:

In total, we found on average 18 bad spammy referral sources. These domains were giving our company and our client’s websites at least a hundred sessions for the month, significant to impact the month-over-month data.

Referral-May

How we blocked these sources

See our previous post for more details on submitting these links to exclude from future reports. In order to avoid faulty data, and reporting on these spammy sources, we blocked the domain links in a few areas, including: directly on our web servers, and through Google Analytics. We submitted each of the spam links we found to the .js tracking “Referral Exclusion List” (as show below):

Exclusion List 2

Removing these bad sources not only helps us to provide client’s with accurate data in relation to sessions on their website every month, but it also helps in a few other ways. Particularly, we want our servers to be clear of all spam to maintain optimal load times, and to avoid these bots crawling through our sites at all.

What we’re seeing now

We have checked on the status of the exclusion list moving through June, and we are still seeing visits from these bad spammy domains; links like ww.event-tracking.com and www.get-free-traffic-now.com are still showing up within our referral traffic.

Spam-June

We will continue to look into this issue, and offer more solutions that will completely exclude these sources from traffic reports moving forward.

 

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