Google Analytics Referral Spam Tool

Your Google Analytics are showing a ton of fake traffic from bad domain names, and you have to clean it up.  If you already know how to exclude bad referrers, then you know that entering just one domain filter is a time sucker, so this page will save you a LOT of time.

What is the problem?

Spam referrals showing in Google Analytics have made your referral counts irrelevant with hugely inflated numbers. Sites like 4webmasters.org, free-share-buttons.com and over 70 others are badly distorting your stats. In the case of a local business, more than half of their referral traffic can come from these “fake” websites!

What is The Solution?

There are various methods of removing these intrusions that have been written about, including creating Analytics filters, creating Analytics Segments, or even blocking the calls via your .htacess file, which really does nothing for these “ghost” referrers that don’t actually hit your site.  I’ll write about two,  creating “Filters” and creating a “Segment”.

Option 1 – Adding Filters (Does *not* clean historic data)

Note that a filter is a permanent change to your data, and cannot be undone. For that reason, you may prefer option two below.

This video shows you how to manually add domain filters from your in your Google Analytics reports, and then it shows how to save an enormous amount of time using this tool, by importing filters for 70+ and growing known spam domains directly into any linked Google Analytics account.

Using this method will alert the viewer in Google Analytics that the  view is being filtered, which I believe is a good thing in some cases. However, it won’t do anything for your historical data prior to the date you added the filter.

Our Tool – (But I recommend Option 2 Instead)

(Lots of credit to Simo Ahava for code he shared at Github)

Get started by clicking the initialize button below. You will be asked to authorize access to your Google Analytics data, and you will then see the available domains for filter importation. Use CTRL to select multiple domains.

Option 2 – Add a Segment (Cleans Historic Reports Too)

Because Google can’t be bothered to apply your filters to the historic data,  there’s another option that will work, and it’s done just a bit differently with a “segment” that you can import directly from the Google Analytics Solutions Gallery.

Using this method will simply “clean up” the historical data, and can show you multiple segments at the same time,  which you may find preferable in most situations. In the video I show how it’s done, but you can hit the button below to “initialize” and you’ll be taken directly to the latest version.

 

As I showed in the video, you can go to the Google Solutions gallery for the most current segment, or you can import mine by pressing the button – (last updated Sept 25, 2015).

 Import Scott Hendisons updated version of a referral spam segment

 

Did This Save You Time?

The source of our original Google Analytics referral spam domain list is at Lone Goat, but we have added our own observations, and will continue to update.  If either of these two solutions above need more domains added, leave the details in the comments.

Download my Pubcon 2015 Slide Presentation

33 Comments

  1. Joe Simmonds

    Thank you so much for this tool! Such a time saver not having to add every domain manually.

    Reply
    • Scott

      You bet, Joe… glad you like it!

      Reply
  2. Mohit Jain

    Wonderful tool, thanks a lot commander 🙂

    Reply
  3. David Krenek

    Also thank you soooo much, very good tool!

    Reply
  4. Matt

    Awesome tool, saved me so much time! Thanks!

    Reply
  5. Sigurd Wiik

    Any way I could contibute to make this better?? I have a list for about 300 spammy URLs that could be implemented into this list..

    Reply
    • Scott Hendison

      Sure, please feel free to just post them here as a comment, or you could email them to me at scott(at)searchcommander.com. I can’t promise we’ll add them all, but i’ll certainly take a look at them and decide from there…

      Reply
  6. James Bullis

    I was a bit skeptical in giving access but I am glad I did. This was a huge time saver.

    Reply
    • Scott Hendison

      Glad you like it, James!

      Reply
  7. Giuseppe

    That is fantastic, problem solved! You saved me lots of time, I’m really grateful.
    Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  8. amir

    Thanks ! love the tool
    u guys great !

    Reply
  9. Rob

    Thanks – I started doing this by hand and then found your article. Saved me a lot of time!

    Reply
  10. jannet

    What a fab tool, a great time saver, thank so much.

    Reply
  11. Laura

    This is the best solution I have found for cleaning up referral spam yet. Thanks so much for sharing. Mind if I share this in a blog post on my site?

    Reply
    • Scott Hendison

      Thanks, and nope, no problem – feel free to blog away 😉

      Reply
    • Scott Hendison

      Glad you like it!

      Reply
  12. zuzullo

    After applying your latest segment via Google Gallery, I am left with these “possible” 7 NEW spammers:

    quit-smoking.ga
    website-stealer.nufaq.com
    top1-seo-service.com
    duckduckgo.com
    thegemsstock.com
    w3javascript.com
    alert.scansafe.net

    Reply
  13. Brent

    Great info, thanks Scott!

    Reply
  14. MYandroidBD

    very helpful post.thanks for sharing 🙂

    Reply
    • Scott Hendison

      Thanks for saying so, and thanks for the link 😉 (by the way, my last name is Hendison – not Henderson – sort of unusual)

      Reply
  15. Josephine

    It is so great! Saved me a lot of time and anger. Thank you 🙂

    Reply
    • Scott Hendison

      You’er welcome, Josephine. However, Google has supposedly fixed the problem going forward… Are you still seeing current referral spam?

      Reply
  16. Marco

    Thanks for your advice and the conversation on phone.

    Reply
  17. Paul

    Hi Nice info here.

    Just wanted to ask about spam referrers like traffic2cash.xyz or share-buttons.xyz they dont have a valid url so I cant add them as sources

    Reply
    • Scott Hendison

      If you’er using option 2 – a segment – then you can leave off the .com or any TLD entirely, and just use “contains traffic2cash” and you’d be good…

      Reply
  18. Adi Khajuria

    Thanks for this awesome tool.

    I wanted to know if this includes more recent spammers such as rank-checker.online?

    Reply
    • Scott Hendison

      Yes. So does option two, downloaded from the Google Analytics Solution Gallery

      Reply

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