The latest in referral spam that I have seen in our client’s Google Analytics Referrals Traffic Sources is from tinyurl.com /BuyFacebookShares.
In checking about 20 various client’s stats, we have seen at least 6 and at most 8 visits from this referrer between the dates of May 20 and June 3, 2012. The visits normally occurred every 2nd day between those dates. The traffic ‘seems’ to originate from Brazil in every case that we have encountered, according to demographics data.
In case you were interested, this URL forwards to the Plus500 website, for online day trading / forex trading.
But WHY is this data showing up in my server traffic logs?
Tricky webmasters, or perhaps marketing firms, use this tactic to peak the curiosity of those scrupulous people that look through their server logs and view their visitor analytics data. They attempt to get attention and visitors to their websites by having their URL show up in YOUR website visitor logs.
Google Analytics Filter for Spam Referrals
We normally have a filter set up in the Admin section of each of our client’s Google Analytics, so that this traffic doesn’t taint the visitor traffic data. That way this ‘junk traffic’ will not show up in the monthly reports that we send our clients either.
This junk traffic filter that we have been using works pretty well. It is a custom filter to exclude traffic from the campaign source with the following (non case-senstive) filter pattern:
The straight lines dividing the different referral websites are called vertical ‘pipes’. These are used so that the same single filter can be used for multiple source websites.
We will now edit this filter to add the BuyFacebookShares to the string like this:
That should keep a lot of the referrer spam out of our client reports and Google Analytics data for now… until the next spammer comes along trying to entice/trick people to visit their websites.
Have you seen any ‘new’ spam referrer traffic lately? Please leave your comment below!