If you’re one of the millions of webmasters currently using Google Analytics, chances are you’ve noticed some sketchy spam links in your traffic groupings. What are these? Where do they come from? It’s called referrer spam (or referral spam, potato-potahto), with the two major types being ghost spam and crawler spam. What is referral spam? It’s main job is to bombard your site with inaccurate traffic data as you pull out patches of your hair. That said, what’s the difference between ghost spam and referral spam? More importantly, what can you do to rid your analytics of this dirty data?
Ghost spam is probably more prevalent in your analytics, as it’s the most aggressive type of referral spam.
- Does not have any interaction with your website at all
- Uses a fake hostname and directly feeds into your analytics’ traffic as fake data
- Can find it’s way into all of your analytics channel groups
You used have to worry about referrer (crawler) spam just in your referral traffic data, but over the years it’s evolved.
- Piggyback’s onto your website to bait your visitors into buying a product off of their website
- Can appear in your search terms, page, event and direct visit data
- Not as frequent, more labor intensive than ghost spam
What Can You Do?
Seeing all of this spam in your analytics can be frustrating, especially if you are not familiar with what referral spam is or are not technically savvy. There are resources available, such as a spam list that is updated daily and filters you can implement. Honestly though, who has the time to keep up with all of that? Because millions of webmasters use Google Analytics, the big G has to be careful on how they will approach the recent inundation of spam data.
In the meantime, you can get cleaner data using Foxlytics, which helps you keep crawler spam out of your analytics! Foxlytics only blocks crawler spam for now, but Foxlytics 2.0 will have built in GA API that automatically creates filters based on our database, so the user won’t have to worry about creating their own. Be sure to stay updated!
Learn more about Foxlytics today.