If you look at your domain referrals in Google Analytics you’ve probably noticed a huge increase in the number of junk referrers over the past year, right?
Starting with SEMalt back last winter, in recent months it’s gotten so bad that in many cases they’ve taken over the entire top 10.
Take a look for example at our site, where nearly a third of the referring traffic is fake…
Why is This Happening?
The reason this is happening is that various websites around the world are scraping your Google Analytics user IDs and then “tricking” Google into reporting that they sent you a referral.
This is not quite the same thing as when Matt Cutts first explained it, but make no mistake – this is a Google Exploit.
As explained at Analytics Edge
There are lots of technical explanations and discussions going on all over the web, with various processes explained to block them from reporting.
How Can You Stop It?
The general consensus seems to be that until Google actually makes this checkbox work, (yes it’s really there, under Admin > Right Column View Settings) then the most effective and reliable way is to set up your own filters.
There’s a nice step by step guide to manually blocking spam referrals here but that’s a shton of work, really. Look at how fast this updated list of spam referrers keeps growing!
Agencies or individuals are expected to set up their OWN filters to gat accurate data from Google Analytics? Are you kidding me?
Well until Google gets their act together, this magic button is here, and should save you a LOT of time. To see how it works, and to give credit where it’s due, here’s a short video…
Hit the Button!
Tool Reached the Daily Limit?
Want to Block Spam Referrers Historically?
Google can’t be bothered to apply your filters to your historic data, so here’s a handy option that I came across in the Google Analytics Solutions Gallery. Kudos!