How to Get Rid of Ghost Spam in Google Analytics

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If you are the person responsible for reviewing your company’s website analytics, most likely you’re using Google Analytics. GA is an incredibly robust tool that is constantly being improved. And the best part? It’s free. (Most of it is free, unless you want to get keyword usage, then it will cost you an arm and a leg.) But increasingly, Google Analytics data is becoming a bit of a nightmare due to something called Ghost Spam (also known as Referrer Spam.) Ghost spam can show up in both your referral data and your organic data and appears as visits to your sites that never actually took place. They do this by using something known as the “Measurement Protocol” which allows people to send data directly to Google Analytics servers. Sites use this so that their site shows up in Google Analytics, thereby tempting the person reviewing the data to visit the site. In other words, a really shady way to gain traffic.

But how to stop this? When this first started a few years ago, the quick fix was to create a filter that filtered out the offending url. This worked for a while until thousands of sites starting getting into the act. There is no way to create enough filters to block every site using this technique.

Instead, you’ll create a filter that only allows valid hostnames to register their data. You can find more information on how to do this here:

Ultimate Guide: Stop and Remove All the Spam and Other Junk Traffic in Google Analytics

 

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