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Your website, Google analytics, and SPAM

Visited your Google Analytics page lately? Since January this year I’ve started noticing website visits from “visitors” who have a strange effect on analytics. If you see a large number of visits to your site it may check to see if they are real.

A new kind of spam has hit our internet, and its aimed at you, the website owner. These guys think its ok to flood your analytics with “referral spam” a.k.a “Ghost Referrals”. These referrals skew your figures and try to encourage you to click on them to visit their site and increase thier SEO. Well, lucky that it doesn’t affect your SEO, as they have never visited your site for real. Be aware of these referrals, some of them have some dodgy names, and some of them are just weird.

Google Analytic Ghost Referrals

You'll see in the above screen shot that www1.social-buttons.com is responsible for 181 visits to this site in the last month, and has spent an average of zero minutes, zero seconds on the site. The 100% bounce rate also gives it away.

Another issue with Ghost referrals is that they cloud your judgement about how to manage your site. If you see a spike in your analytics for one day or a few days, Is that a result of your targeted marketing campaign or a Ghost Referrals? Analytics filtering can help you figure that out.

Analytics filtering allows you to remove referral results that you don’t want to see in your analytics. It give you a more comprehensive understanding of who/where/why people visit your site, with more clarity than with all the garbage referrals thrown in.

All this stuff really helps to observe how your recent advertising campaign or marketing drive has had an affect on your web traffic. If you want more advice on this or need assistance with removing nasty Ghost Referreals mucking up your analytics, then get in touch.