Skip to main content
Link to close the website search popup

How to Remove Referrer Spam From Your Google Analytics

Media on Mars blog post thumbnail: Graphic of a bomb
Reading Time 2 minutes
Blog post author picture: Orla Larkin
Thursday, 25th February 2016

These days, spam is part of our everyday lives, and chances are some nasty bots are messing with your Analytics data. We all know the importance of good, quality traffic on your site, but are your Analytics giving you an accurate snapshot of who’s visiting your site?

So, what is a ‘bot’?

First of all, it’s worth noting that not all bots are bad. Googlebot trawls the world wide web regularly in order to discover new content and sites which are then added to Google’s index.

Spam bots however have much more harmful intentions. Not only are they messing with your Analytics data (they generally have a 100% bounce rate), they can also cause damage to your devices, spread viruses and harvest email addresses.

To see if you have bots erroneously boosting your data open your Google Analytics account and navigate to Acquisition > All Traffic > Referrals. As you’ll see in the image below the top 3 referral sources for this site are all spam bots.

spam_analytics_snapshot

How do spam bots work?

Spam bots work on scripts which in turn send fake ‘traffic’ to your site. Your Analytics then records these as visitors, which inflates your data. Yes, it may be nice seeing a spike in your visitors, but if this data isn’t accurate how will you ever see which of your marketing strategies are working?

Kicking spam bots to the curb

There’s an array of WordPress plugins available to block these nasty spam referrers from your site, and here at Mars we use and recommend SpamReferrerBlock. In a nutshell it filters your site’s incoming traffic and block “spam referrer” attacks.

To install:

  • In your WordPress dashboard head to Plugins > Add New
  • Install the plugin then click Activate
  • Now in your WordPress menu head to Settings > SpamReferrerBlock

The plugin will automatically start blocking spam bots. You can also add to the list manually in the settings. It’s as easy at that!

20 Years

In the game for twenty years.

Link to close the newsletter sign-up popup