Google Analytics Spam – Semalt Expert Knows How To Block It
Google Analytics is affected by different types of spam. The most common spam that affects Google Analytics is the referral spam. The spam targets various Google accounts randomly but can also be targeted at specific accounts.
Frank Abagnale, the Senior Customer Success Manager of Semalt, takes a look at the ways of crushing Google Analytics spam.
Spams are created for a number of reasons:
a) Commission acquisition
Spam creators often get commissions which result from the increase in traffic statistics which is generated by the spams.
Some spam creators use these spams to spread their own ideologies and utilize them for publicity so that they can reach a lot of viewers.
c) Hacking emails
These spams are used to hack email accounts which are then sold to other users.
d) Malware spreading
Malware refers to malicious programs which are used to gain unauthorized access to electronic data. Spams are used to spread such programs which may be in form of viruses or Trojan.
e) Spreading falsified information by CEOs to increase sales
There have been cases of CEOs which use spams to create a false impression that they are successful by placing such information on their client's websites.
There are different ways in which referral spams can be blocked namely:
1) Use of .htacess files
This method involves the copying of certain files into the target computer, and these files have commands that determine how the server functions. This method of blocking spams has limitations which include:
- The bots are selective and avoid the sites where they have been blocked by these .htacess files.
- It is tiresome to block all websites (URLs) because it consumes a lot of time.
- The spams are also generated on a daily basis, and therefore it becomes difficult to keep up with them.
2) Use of custom filters
The process can be summarized in the following simple steps:
Click on the Google Analytics on your computer and select the All Traffic icon followed by the Referrals option.
The next step is to make sure that you have sorted the referral traffic with a suitable bounce rate. The recommended bounce rate is a few months. The Ultimate Referral List can be used to determine the level at which a domain is affected by spams.
There are links which can be used to access referral lists in case there is difficulty in accessing the Ultimate Referral List. These links include:
The next step is clicking on the Admin icon and choosing the filters option. This is followed by selecting the Add Filter option. This process is followed by choosing a name for the filter and then selecting the custom option as the filter type. This is followed by selecting the exclude button and selecting 'campaign Source' on the filter field. The final step is selecting the filter pattern.
The limitation of using this means of blocking spam ware is that it is possible to block the unintended data and only ten domains can be added at a given time.
3) Use of referral exclusion List
The other means of blocking spams is using referral lists. It is used on third party and self-referrals. The activation of Exclusion Referral Lists can be done in three steps.
Select the Admin option on the Google Analytics account and choose the Property column. This is followed by selecting the tracking info option.
Select the Referral Exclusion List and click on the ADD Referral Exclusion button.
Select the domains that you wish to exclude from the referral traffic.
The limitation of this method is that addition of domains in bulk is not supported by the system.