What is Referrer Spam?
Referrer Spam are domains in your Google Analytics Referral Traffic which are added there by spam bots and not by people visiting your site through a click on a third party website. Though this traffic is not harmful, it does pollute your analytics data and your statistics.
Some of the domains referring traffic to your website could appear in Google Analytics are like –
site.free-floating-buttons.com , where X is a number e.g. 1,2,3 etc.
Checking Spam In Referral Traffic In Google Analytics
To check spam in your referral traffic in Google Analytics, you can do the following:
1. Log into your Google Analytics account. There you will find some unnecessary URLs like semalt.com, darodar.com, buttons-for-website.com, hulfingtonpost, and countless others in your referral report.
2. Check your organic keyword report and you will find “ilovevitaly SEM”.
3. You can also find a giant spike in direct/(none) traffic that spikes one day, and then goes away.
In the above chart you can see that maximum traffic comes from a single domain that is Float-Share-Buttons.com.
What is floating-share-buttons.com referral?
This referral is arranged as a Spam data, this means that it never accesses any of your pages, it all happens within your reports in Google Analytics. The spam has a negative impact only for your analytics report preparation, but it won’t affect your search rankings in any way.
Here are some things you must know about spam in Google Analytics.
At the time of report preparation you will see some other subdomains of floating-share-buttons.com like this site (1,2,3 and so on) floating-share-buttons.com.
Here is a list of the subdomains that people have reported, so far:
When you go to the URL of the referral or any of the subdomains, it will redirect you to sharebutton.to, which is a service that offers sharing buttons.
How to protect unnecessary URLs or spammy domains from entering in the Google Analytics panel?
You can protect unnecessary URLs or spammy domains from entering in the Google Analytics panel with the help of the following two methods:
Method# 1 – Google Analytics Refferal Exclusion Technique
a.) Log into Google Analytics panel, choose Admin section from the menu, click it to get Tracking Info section, and then choose Referral Exclusion List from the drop down menu.
b.) The second step is to create a new Referral Exclusion List which will exclude this traffic.
c.) Finally, you will get the list of ‘spammy websites’ which you have added into the Referral Exclusion List in the below chart:
Method # 2 – Create A Filter By Campaign Source
First, in order to create a new filter that excludes this traffic, begin with creating a new custom filter in the View section. Set it to Exclude> Filter Field > Campaign Source, and in the Filter Pattern field you can enter the domains you want to exclude.
Given below is a simple demonstaration of these steps:
Note – To exclude multiple domains you can add a ‘Filter’ in regex form, which has a 255 character limit to the field, so you might have to create multiple similar filters.
An example of such a filter pattern would be:
“A referrer is a simple HTTP header that’s passed along when a browser goes from one page to another page, normally used to indicate where a user’s coming from. But users can change it, and some people will set referrer at pages they want to promote and visit tons of people around the web — people see it and say ‘Oh, I should check it out’. It’s not necessarily a link… there are some people who try to drive traffic by visiting a ton of websites with an automated script and setting the referrer to be the URL they want to promote… there’s no ‘authentication’… You can’t automatically assume that it was the owner of the URL if you see something showing up in your dashboard. Somebody is trying to do some hijinx.”
– Matt Cutts, Head of Google Webspam Team