How To Block Referral Spam
"Referral spam is like a cockroach, except is it doesn’t scatter when the lights come on, it stares you in the face and dares you to get rid of it”
If you’re tired of having your analytics ruined by referral spam like semalt.semalt.com, today we are going to fight back. I will show how to block referral spam as well as how to filter it from your analytics.
To complete this training you will need to be familiar with how to FTP into your website and have a Google analytics account setup.
This training will be a complete solution and require no plugins or having to block entire countries. We are going to simply target and block the offending domains AT THE SOURCE!
If this is your first introduction to referral spam, here is a quick look at what it is and why it happens.
What is Referral Spam?
Referral Spam is a type of spam also known as log spam. It’s a technique done by spammer sites that involves making multiple requests to your webpage with a bot using a fake referrer URL.
Why Do They Spam You?
They hope to create a backlink to their page to raise their search engine rank.
You may be thinking, but how can they create a backlink, if I don’t backlink to them?
Many sites publish their access logs and it includes these refer URL’s. When these logs get published it creates a backlink to the spammers website. Eventually these links get crawled by search engines and indexed, thus raising the site rank of the spammers website.
Is Referral Spam a Problem?
Yes it is problem from this perspective:
And In addition to resulting in less traffic, It’s just a huge waste of time, hogs up bandwidth, and makes your site slower for your real visitors.
Is It Dangerous and Does It Cause Security Issues?
In all of my research I failed to find anything conclusive to say that referral spam dangerous. Also in my experience it hasn’t been, however…let’s not wait around and find out the hard way.
Whats The Difference Between Referral Spam And Comment Spam?
While both are automated with bots. comment spam can appear on your page without creating a hit on your website...referral spam records a visit in your website analytics. The intention of the spammer is the same though, to create a backlink. Comment spam backlinks on your pages, while referral spam backlinks in your log files.
If you are looking to stop comment spam a plugin like Askimet or Anti Spam Bee will do the trick. For referral spam we need a heavier tool for the job...our BRAINS!
Ready to stop the referral spammers?
Let’s find out who the heck is spamming you.