How to end the spam in your analytics in 3 single steps
Spam on your analytics? If you spend time to watching what happens on your website with Google Analytics sure this has happened to you. And in I love CPA also happens to us, we receive visits on our website coming from pages like get-free-social-traffic.com. But the problem is that these visits are not real ones.
WHAT IS SPAM ON GOOGLE ANALYTICS AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
Spam occurs automatically. There are robots (ghosts and crawlers) that launch these spam campaigns. They do it randomly without actually visiting the pages and making the Google platform believe that they are legit visits. Google Analytics records and catalogues them as references, however, this distorts traffic data which prevents us from knowing the actual figures of our traffic. At the moment, when we look closely at the traffic that Google Analytics shows, we see that there are visits that have not occurred or have a duration of 0 to 1 second and has never really visited our site.
HOW TO DETECT SPAM IN GOOGLE ANALYTICS REPORTS?
It can appear in different ways in the reports:
On landing pages: If you go to the Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages you can see that there are several pages that should not be.
In Events: If we access Behavior > Events > Overview, there will be events that we have not created.
And in Acquisition > All Traffic > Referrals, we find domains that are suspicious, such as site4.free-share-buttons.com.
HOW TO ELIMINATE SPAM?
It is true that there are filters with which you can exclude traffic from a particular hostname. However, this means having to update the filters, or even add more, whenever new spam sites are emerging. The sooner you get rid of spam traffic, the sooner you’ll be able to better track your users’ behaviour with Google Analytics.
Here we reveal one of the ways to end spam once and for all:
1. Go to Admin > View > Filters and create a filter the following rule:
Remplace yoursite by your domain name.
2. Make sure you create a traffic inclusion filter, not exclusion filter.
This is very important since if you do not you will get totally the opposite of what you need. If you used an exclusion filter, what you would do would be to stop seeing the actual visits of your site. And, in this way, you would continue to see visits that appear with a false host.
3. Place the filter as the first one in the order of execution of all filters.
The filter you just created should be the first one to be applied. Before any other filter you have created previously, it is the best way to ensure that it is applied on all incoming visits.
Another tip: make sure you have a ‘view without filters’ to have the raw data that Google Analytics records in which to see the differences or identify errors.
If you use WordPress, another option would be to use plugins like SpamReferrerBlock, which has a predefined list of malicious domains and allows you to enter your own suspicious domains.
Images from Analytics-Toolkit.com