Semalt: Can We Handle Google Analytics Referrer Spam?

Most recently, a lot of people were found to be discussing methods to block the referral spam and that the channel attribution is of great importance. Here, Andrew Dyhan, a top specialist from Semalt, has shared some methods to exclude referrer spam from Google Analytics. But first of all, let's know a little about it.

Introduction to Google Analytics referrer spam

Google Analytics referrer spam is a form of hacking that is used to send fake data to your analytics account. A special protocol is used in this regard, named as Measurement Protocol, which collects information about your website and damages the Google Analytics report by tricking it in one way or the other. It sends fake traffic to your website, showing the hits in the Google Analytics. For this purpose, the hackers use special tracking IDs to trap website owners as well as Google experts.

Whether you are receiving fake traffic or genuine hits, they are always shown up in the referral website reports. If you want to check it, you should go to the Acquisition section of your Google Analytics account and see the Referral option where the list of spam can be found. The spammers merely generate UA property IDs and send malicious traffic to websites in a variety of ways.

How to combat Google Analytics referrer spam?

For the beginners, our advice is to go to their Settings in the admin panel. Here you will have to check the Bot Filtering option and click the Exclude All Hits. This will eventually exclude the hits that have been generated by spiders and bots. So far, it is the best practice to combat Google Analytics referrer spam. The issue can be fixed in several other ways too, but this is the best practice so far.

What about filters?

Filters are created to exclude referral spam from your Google Analytics reports. If you want to create filters, you should go to the Filters option and create them in a significant number. You can also add already built filters here and select the Custom option to get them activated. It is possible to include or exclude a filter based on your requirements. If you are handling multiple referrers, you must create a large number of filters to protect your website from malware, spam, and hackers.

Can we automate filters?

Luckily, it is possible to automate filters. Referrer spam blocker provides users with a broad range of options. You can simply connect it to the Google Analytics account. Once you have connected it, the next step is to protect your site from referrer spam and ad filters to the Google Analytics account.

What is data collection key?

Data collection keys are used to collect data from your Google Analytics account with ease. In this tactic, you have to tell Google the password of your analytics property every time some people visit your website. Based on the information, your account will be updated, and you can have an idea whether the traffic is legitimate or not.


Here we have covered several methodologies you can use to create filters in your Google Analytics account. Getting rid of referrer spam with these techniques is possible. However, there is no method that ensures cent percent results.