I haven’t had Google Analytics installed on this site for quite some time. Knowing that, you’ll understand why I was surprised to log into GA to get my tracking code, only to see 178 “visits” to my site in the last 30 days. Quickly my hatred of Google Analytics spam came flowing back into my mind.
For those of you who haven’t yet experienced it, there are these lovely people out there who send fake referral traffic directly to your Google Analytics account. Their goal is to put really interesting referral URL’s in your analytics, hoping you’ll get all curious and go visit their site where they will either attempt to do very nasty things to your computer, or to sell you terrible software for your website.
If you’re lucky enough to have a large following and lots and lots of traffic to your site, these pesky little referrals are likely to be nothing but a slight annoying and will be buried among all of your legitimate traffic.
If you’re like me and you can presently count the number of daily visits to your site on a single hand, they are infuriating!
Thankfully, there are options. Google does have a filtering option, but you have to enable it (it’s not enabled by default). You can also set up lots of filters to try and keep them off your site. The catch here is, if they’ve gotten your Google Analytics account number (all they have to do is view your source) they actually don’t need to route any traffic to your site, they can spam your Google Analytics account directly.
If you need help dealing with this, I have found the OptimizeSmart Guide to removing referrer spam and fake traffic in Google Analytics to be VERY helpful. Lots of good advice, code examples, and master lists of bots to filter can be found in the article.
Good luck filtering!