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What is Google Analytics Spam?

Spam in Your Website Statistics

Spam is everywhere it seems. I kind of grew up eating Spam - we had it once every week or two at home with some fried potatoes and cream corn. It was delicious and is still a good meal to have once in a while (even though it's not that healthy) - but that's not what we're talking about here.

With Google Analytics referrer spam, there's actually data showing up in your website statistics that isn't real. It's messing up your results and it needs to be cleaned up.

Bots Are Everywhere

A "bot" is short for robot and they're also referred to as spiders - to go with the whole "World Wide Web" theme of the Internet

There are different kinds of bots:

  • Good bots
  • Bad bots
  • Spam bots
  • Botnet
  • Bad spam bots
  • Smart spam bots

It's described in great detail here:

Geek guide to removing referrer spam in Google Analytics (optimizesmart.com)

So Why is This a Problem?

Well, there are a few reasons - mainly, it's skewing results and you want accurate data because you're making marketing decisions based on that data. You want your website statistics to be accurate, right?

Here's an example of a false spike in traffic that we saw with one of our clients:

GA-false-spike

And when you look at that particular day and where traffic came from, you see this:

GA-referrer-spam

There's no such website as "forum20.smailik.org" out there, so this isn't real traffic. The bounce rate is also artificially inflated. This is what needs to be filtered out of your Google Analytics data.

Here's more:

How to Stop Spam Bots from Ruining Your Analytics Referral Data (moz.com)

Why do I need to worry about blocking and filtering these sites?

There are two main reasons I’m motivated to block these on all sites that I work with. First: corrupt analytics data. A few hundred hits a month on a site like Moz.com isn’t going to move the needle when compared to the sheer volume of sessions they have daily. However, on a small site for a local plumber, 30 sessions per day is likely going to be 70% spam referral traffic, suffocating the remaining legitimate traffic and making marketing analysis a frustrating endeavor.

Second: server load and security. I didn’t ask them to crawl or visit my site. Their visits are using my server resources for something that I don’t want or need. An overloaded server means slower load times, which translate to higher bounce rates and lower rankings. On top of that, who knows what else they’re doing on my site while they’re there. They could easily be looking for WordPress, plugin and server vulnerabilities.

The Good News - There IS a Cure!

The good news is that we can help you fix this. We'll manually adjust your Google Analytics account to filter out all these bad/spammy bots so that your results are accurate. We manually do this and test it.

To get this done takes 1 hour or $115.00.

If you are a Webstix Maintenance Blocks client, then it's just 2 Maintenance Blocks and you get your discount based on how many blocks you bought. You may already have 2 blocks in your account, which would cover this work.

We'll get you a before and after report showing the difference and your account will be adjusted going forward.

Note: This is something that may need to be done every 6 months or so as new spam robots spring up.

To get this work done, simply send in a new support request to tickets@webstix.com, mention that you want your Google Analytics referrer spam cleaned up and the Webstix Team will get this done for you.

-Tony

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