If you’ve checked your Google Analytics account recently, odds are you’ve noticed a huge spike from strange Russian referral domains like Darodar, Blackhatworth and ilovevitaly just to name a few. This referrer traffic is fake and complete spam.
Today I’m going to share with you a method that will allow you to block referral spam from being collected for domains you have inside Google Analytics. Once setup, this fake spammy traffic won’t be able to mess with your Analytic site stats.
What Is Analytics Referrer Spam?
Referrer spam has been around for many years and you can read more about it over a Wikipedia. However, I’ve only recently started to read about this Rusian referral spam affecting Analytics stats.
To be honest, I’ve researched and read many different articles covering this topic, people trying to block it via the .htaccess file etc, But the only real way to stop this spam, is using the method I’m going to share with you here:
How To Block Analytics Referrer Spam
Below are the steps you’ll need to take to block referrer spam from being tracked inside your Analytics account. If you have more than one spam referring domain you’ll need to repeat the steps and create a new filter for each domain.
Step 1: Collect List Of Spam Domains
I recommend that you first take some time to go over your referral stats and make a list of domains that are sending you fake referral hits. Make sure you know it’s a bad domain or you may end up blocking stats from a good traffic source. I’ve included a list of spam domains further down in this post.
Step 2: Exclude BOTS
I didn’t cover this in my video tutorial, but I highly recommend that you complete this step. Once inside your Analytics accounts click on “admin” and then select the Account and the View you wish to work on. Firstly, click on “view settings” under the view column.
Step 3: Creating a Copy View (optional)
While still on the same page as exclude bots in step two, scroll up to the top of the page and click on “Copy View”. This is going to create a duplicate of current stats setup. Call it whatever you like, I’d use something like “Domain Filtered Stats”.
When creating filters it’s recommended to create a duplicate view so that you can compare and test filters. However, as all were going to be doing here is blocking referrer traffic from selected domains, creating a copy view isn’t as important. So it’s optional and
Step 4: Creating A Filter To Block Referrer Domain
- Select “All Filters” from the Account column.
- Filter Name: Call it anything, but I’d enter the domain you plan on blocking.
- Filter Type: Select custom. Make sure “Exclude” is selected and from the drop down menu select “Referral”
- Filter Pattern: Enter the spam referrer domain, for example I’d enter darodar.com, do not include http or www.
- Apply Filter to Views: Here you can select all the domains or views you’d like to apply the filter to. Select the available view and press the Add button to move it over to the right side. Once you’ve moving all the views you wish to move to the right side, scroll down and press save.
Step 5: Wait & Confirm It’s Blocking Referral Traffic
As filters only affect data from the time you create them, you’ll need to wait at least 24 hrs or more before you’ll be able to see if it’s working correctly. Keep in mind when checking your stats to alter the tie frame to not include stats prior to creating the filter. Or if you created a “Copy View” it should only contain data from the point the filter was created.
List Of Spam Domains
Before ending the post, I wanted to share with you a list of referral spam domains currently affecting millions of Analytics users. Sadly many but not all of them are hosted on the same IP 188.8.131.52. If you watched my video tutorial http://youtu.be/P_7mRdEvOKE the site I use to perform a Reverse IP Domain Check: http://www.yougetsignal.com/tools/
If you need any help or you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below. I’d also like to know domains you’ve been getting spam traffic from if not listed above.
00:00:00 Time On Page – 100% Bounce
If you’ve seen these type of stats inside your Analytics account, you may want to check out a recent post I’ve just published “Time on page – Bounce rate“. In short, these stats can also be happy visitors spending several minutes on a page then leaving via any link on your page. But Analytics is still going to count this as a bounce with no time.