How to Handle Referrer Spam

When referrer spam showed its ugly face over a year ago, we hoped it was another passing fad. Unfortunately, it has only increased over time.

If you have checked your site analytics for referrals lately, you may have seen an influx of referrals from sites such as or This is an indication of spammers sending requests to your site hoping to gain SEO benefits by flooding access logs with links back to their sites.

Essentially, it’s fake traffic that will pollute your site data.

Unfortunately, referrals aren’t the only place that spam may be creeping into analytics. Ghost spam can also infect your data. Ghost spam is different in that there is no actual site visit. Instead, ghost spam makes calls directly to analytics to mimic visits or event data. The most common ghost event that is currently being reported has the category “to use this feature visit: EVENT-TRACKING.COM.”

To protect your site and your data, specific measures must be taken. To keep your data clean, add filters to your site’s analytics profile to remove spam. However, as additional bots are identified, this filter must be continually updated. Additionally, spam domains should be added to your robots exclusion file. For spam that is sending traffic to your site, it may be necessary to block the sites on your server to prevent bandwidth consumption (for example, using an .htaccess file).

Vigilance is the very best way to manage referral spam. Your SEO specialist should be watching for this type of spam and adding filters as they are identified. You can also configure email alerts that monitor referral traffic and notify your team of possible referral spam.

Google and other organizations have announced that they are working toward a solution to eliminate referrer spam, but until they do, continued supervision will be required. Our SEO experts are ready to help monitor and manage your site. For more information, contact us today.

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