I’ve been seeing some weird traffic coming in from spammy sites. I haven’t paid much attention to it until a client asked me about the same spam traffic they were also receiving.
I started to dig.
This type of traffic is called “Referrer Spam”. This is traffic from bots (automated programs) that impersonate (fake it) a referral link (traffice) to your site. The bogus traffic is designed to make their domain show up in your site analytics so that you’ll visit their site.
Should you be concerned with this traffic?
No, it’s bogus traffic. But, it is a waste of bogus data in your analytics that you don’t want to see. Plus it can give you a false reading of your analytics.
How do you stop this traffic?
You can’t really “stop” the traffic. Most of this “traffic” in your analytics is fake traffic that never got to your website.
How do you stop “seeing” the traffic?
Instead you need to filter the traffic from your analytics. There are a couple of plugins you can install and htaccess edits you can perform. But might not help. You may need to do a combination of tactics.
Well then what should you do?
I would start with a view level filter in Google Analytics. This post at Analytics Toolkit has an explanation of how to do this. http://blog.analytics-toolkit.com/2015/guide-referrer-spam-google-analytics/
I’m going to follow the above links instructions after 1 week of testing out the results the plugin below I use.
I’m testing this one
GM Block Bots – https://wordpress.org/plugins/gm-block-bots
Block Referral Spam – https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-block-referral-spam
Editing you htaccess file:
I’m not going to even go here as 99% of my readers won’t do this option. I won’t do this option either at this point as I think it will be too labor intensive. And goes back to the original problem being that the traffic is fake and isn’t actually hitting your website.
Here is a GitHub link of spam blacklist sites if you want something for your htaccess file
Here is another link for removing/filtering this problem
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