August 2, 2015
Google Analytics referral spam is currently annoying me beyond belief – it’s got to the point where the first thing I do when I enter a Google Analytics account is look at the referral sources for any new spam sites, and then add filters to block them out.
When you consider I am regularly logging into almost 50 different Analytics accounts, you can see why it may get annoying.
Because I have access to lots of accounts, I have managed to pull together a huge list of ALL the referral spam culprits so you can go ahead and filter them all out before they end up annoying you!
What is Analytics referral spam?
If you’re not sure what I’m on about here, then take a look at the traffic sources for your site in your Google Analytics account.
Do you see a bunch of weird and random sites like this in there?
I’m sorry to break this to you, but these are not real referring domains. This is spam designed purely to make you curious about the site that is apparently linking to you, so that you go and visit that site directly.
What’s the problem with referral spam?
It’s not just that the presence of these domains in the Analytics stats is annoying, they can also cause big problems with reporting. Number of visits/sessions, bounce rates, time on site etc… are all distorted by these fake visits/sessions – as are conversion and ecommerce rates.
What can be done about it?
Luckily, all of these referral spam domains can be filtered out of your Analytics reports quite easily – there’s a great guide on how to that over on the Distilled blog here: https://www.distilled.net/resources/quick-fix-for-referral-spam-in-google-analytics/
Also, after months of silence Google finally announced recently that they are ‘looking at’ the problem of referral spam and working on a solution.
Quite when that will come is anyone’s guess, and as it stands it would seem that some enterprising spammers have discovered a massive fault in the Analytics system – which is pretty worrying really!
Until Google come up with a solution, we’ll need to carry on manually filtering out all of the spam domains.
To help you out with that, I’ve collated the below list using all the different Analytics accounts I have access to.
I’ll keep the list updated as and when I spot new spam referral domains pop up. If you have seen any new ones in your accounts please let me know in the comments below and I’ll add it to the list…
List of referral spam domains
It’s unlikely that your Analytics account will feature all of the above domains as referrers, but I would be shocked if you didn’t have at least one in there.
There’s also likely to be a lot more out there that I haven’t seen in my accounts yet – so if you’ve seen any other spam bot domains please add them in the comments below…