Now that you know which are ghost spam and which are crawler spam we will create a Ghost Spam filter in GA.

Step 1. Sign-in to your GA account, if not already.

Step 2. At the top menu click on “Reporting”.

Step 3. In the left-hand sidebar click on “Audience”.

Step 4. Then click on “Technology” and then “Network”.

Step 5. Now scroll-up to the calendar at the top right and enter the dates from when you first published your website until the present date.

Step 6. Then scroll back down and click on “Hostname”. By default it is on “Service Provider”. Here you will see all of your domain names or websites and all other hostnames. Some will be legit and some or most will be ghost spam. Even if you see one that says inc., this is a fake hostname.

Step 7. Check out the “Bounce Rate” & "Avg. Session Duration” columns on each of these for confirmation that it’s spam.

*Note: Legit hostnames include your own domain name, your subdomains, translate devices, cache services, shopping carts, video services and IP’s. All others that you don’t recognize and have weird hostnames are fake and are spam.

Step 8. Now go back to your document and Copy & Paste all of your valid hostnames. You should have at least one which is your website domain name. I only have one website and no subdomains, translation services, etc. so, I only have included this into my Ghost Spam filter.

What Is A REGEX Pattern?

A REGEX pattern is the filter expression which you need to enter in the GA filter and it would look something like this.


If you only have your valid domain name which is the case with me you will only be including that as the REGEX pattern and it should look something like this.


Notice that "http://www." is not needed in the REGEX pattern and that periods and hyphens need to be preceded by a backslash ( \ ). Also, each different valid domain/hostname needs to be separated by a pipe or bar ( | ) as shown in the first example above.

Step 9. Create your REGEX pattern to be entered into the filter section in GA.

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JKAshipala Premium
Very helpful article indeed.
NRosales Premium
I found you and though I am not applying the training on my GA, I know for sure that it will help me, my site is almost saturated with spam. I am almost a year old in Wa, is this incident normal.
I would like to thank you for this training as I know it will help.
Aliee Premium
Hi, yes my site had lots of "referral spam" on it so I wanted to find a way to get rid of it. The website I found seemed to be the best and easiest one to help me do this.

If you've never applied any filters for the spam then yes, I think that's normal. I'm glad I could help! :)
GolfSpecialt Premium
Thanks Aliee, this was very helpful as a newbie here. One quick question? My tracking numbers look like this UA-#########-# do I just enter this exactly as it appears in the REGEX string separated by a |?
Aliee Premium
Hi, sorry to get back to you so late. I've taken another hiatus and hope to be back to work here soon! The tracking number that you're talking about with the UA at the front doesn't seem to be a spam name to enter into a REGEX string. This tracking number is something else and is not what is supposed to be entered so I suggest that you don't enter that tracking number. Feel free to send me a private message if you need more info. on this.
electrobot Premium
I stopped using GA. I found GA to have zero value to me.
Aliee Premium
Really?? What are you using now to track your incoming traffic?
electrobot Premium
I just roughly guage my traffic based on comments, site feedback, and email I receive. Also, I do a google search regularly to see how my posts and pages appear. I've just had way to many problems with GA. Also, studying the stats has never helped me to increase my site traffic or produce more quality content. Just my thoughts and opinions on the matter. Thanks for your informative and instructive training. :)
Aliee Premium
Ok, makes sense. I mainly wanted to do this for my website because I didn't want it to interfere with getting a good ranking in google. I didn't want to have mostly spam as traffic to my site and then google think that my site was spam too, especially when you're a new site and want to make a good impression. It just makes me feel better to know that I can control it to a certain extent. Take care :)