Google Analytics Ghost Spam – How To Remove Fake Referral Websites From Your Reports

Google Analytics-Ghost SPAM is a new type of fake Google Analytics spam that people try and use to refer others to their sales page/website via the referral notices on your logs.


Google Analytics

The way the process works is that a fake bot company (could be in Russia) sends out millions of requests to different websites every hour. They then scope these requests around a “referral” (typically a fake website/domain) with the intention of having it appear in your analytics logs.

Types of domains typically used: (Google Analytics)

Getty-more-free-visitors (.) info

get-more-free-visitors (.) info

get-more-freeish-visitors (.) info

get-more bit-free-visitors (.) info

MANY more (seriously – there are a lot)

If you see any of the above (or similar) domains populating the “referral” portion of your Google Analytics reports for various domains, the simple truth is that the visitors from those sources will likely be 100% fake.

Google Analytics-Despite making your site look popular, the traffic is worthless. Whilst this might not be a huge concern to some people, if you’re running a business and need to keep track of your company’s growth through its traffic stats, it’s important to have an accurate representation of the people visiting your pages. This can only be done by removing the fake traffic.

To do this, there are two pieces of functionality inside Google Analytics which we need to use – Filters and Segments. Combining these will remove all of the fake traffic from your results.

How To Remove Fake Traffic From GA- Google Analytics

1. Filters

The first step is to apply filters to any traffic you may have.

These don’t do anything with the current traffic, only future ones. It streamlines the process and ensures the system can run as smoothly as possible.

There are several filters that should be added to the system. These not only get rid of the present spammers but also ensure any future ones can be dealt with too…

Google Analytics-

  • Inside your Analytics account, click on your “Admin” area (bottom left of screen — should be the small “cog” icon)
  • Select “All Filters” from the column furthest on the left
  • Now you’re able to create account-wide “filters” which can be used in all the “views” you have for different sites

Because of the way in which these filters work, they are designed to be applied to different views – and are meant to be individual elements in their own right (only one condition per filter).

For this reason, you may have to apply several “filters” to prevent all future spam…

  • Click “+ New Filter” (big orange button)
  • For the filter name, call it something like “Spam 1”
  • From the options below, select “Custom” > “Exclude” > “Campaign Source”
  • The source will then allow you to input the various sites who’ve been hitting your referrals
  • This can be done with Regex:||

Do this for the sites you’ve seen in your reports. You may then wish to add a number of other sites depending on how much you wish to exclude from the reports.

2. Segments (Google Analytics)

The second step is to set up a new “segment” to remove the traffic presently listed in the system.

Whilst this is an effective way to pacify much of the data in the reports, it’s slightly tricky to set up:

  • Click onto any of the sites you have
  • At the top, there is a horizontal bar which allows you to select different “segments” for the data
  • The default segment is “All Data” – which shows you everything
  • If you’re seeing “spam” referrals, you will need to replace this segment with another

To do this, you will need to create a new Segment, which can be done using the following steps:

  • Click on the segments bar
  • This will load up a “segments” panel – through which you’re able to either select a segment or create a new one
  • Select “+ New Segment” (bright orange button) and then give it a name like “No SPAM”
  • From here, scroll to “conditions” on the left toolbar/panel and add the following stipulations:

You need to select “Sessions” + “Exclude” from the drop-down boxes at the top of the panel.

These boxes will remove the data from your reports. From here, scroll down to the “conditions” boxes, into which you should select the following:

  • Source

    > Matches Regex > [[insert domain]]

The above will basically identify any traffic with the source attributed to the domain in the input. You need to use the domain listed in your “referral” stats (it will be similar to those listed above).

If you wanted to use multiple domains, you could use the “regex” system to handle it –||

Why Use Google Analytics?

Google Analytics-It amazes me how many people will say that their website is not working for them, yet when asked if they measure the traffic or use a tool such as Google Analytics, the answer is usually ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I think I have login’.

1-Google Analytics

Now the fact is many companies’ websites do not work for them and are not generating enough, or the right kind of traffic. However, as with any form of marketing, measuring is absolutely critical, so that you can see what is working, what is not working, and adjust your strategy accordingly.

2-Google Analytics

Unfortunately, some people do not measure their web traffic at all. This may because they are unaware that tools such as Google Analytics are actually FREE, and can be installed relatively easily with a basic understanding of HTML code. If you are lucky enough to have a good content management system, then this is made even easier without needing any understanding of website coding. Of course, most good web development companies should do this for you as part of the process of launching a website.

3-Google Analytics

I think it’s fair to say that some people who have started to investigate Google Analytics have often only scratched the surface of how powerful this FREE tool actually is.

The most common use is probably checking on how much traffic a website receives, along with the source of the traffic and which keyword someone has typed, if they have arrived via a search engine.


However Google Analytics can provide so much more relevant and useful information, for example, ‘Bounce Rate’ can be a very important piece of data, this means the percentage of single-page visits where the visitor left your site from the landing page without continuing to view any other pages of the site. So you might have lots of traffic, but if your bounce rate is high then this would suggest the page is not relevant to visitors and your site is probably not working for you. Conversely, this may be the very page your specific campaign is targeting. In this case, the ‘bounce rate’ should not be discouraging.


You can also view the average time people are spending on your website, again if this figure is low and you are not receiving inquiries, just like ‘bounce rate’ this might suggest that your site is not perceived as being relevant by your website visitors. It could also be an indication that navigation to other relevant pages, for instance, a ‘contact us’ feature, is not clear.


Top Exit pages can be another great piece of information if visitors are browsing various pages of your site, but you are losing them without receiving inquiries then you may need to review your top exit pages and try tweaking/improving these.

Google Analytics is an amazing, underutilized tool with features that could fill a manual. The purpose of this article is simply to highlight its availability so that your business can start benefiting from its application.


Whilst annoying, the simple reality is that if you remove all the junk from your reports, it *should* give you a much richer perspective on what you’re able to achieve online.

The segments will give you the ability to do this properly – whilst the filters will ensure that any future traffic will automatically be curtailed.


Source by Richard Peck

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