How to stop referer spam in Google Analytics

If you’re using our Stop Web Crawlers wordpress plugin to block referrer spam from your website, but you’re still seeing the effects in your Google Analytics results, then there is a good chance you are experiencing what is known as Ghost Referrers or Phantom Visits.

In this instance the  spam bots are not actually visiting your site,  or they have only done so in the past to get your  google analytics account number. Once they have this they will spoof visits to your site to pollute your analytics report with false visits.

Google Analytics provides you with a few utilities to help you eliminate the spam visits from your Google Analytics results. The only drawback that these cannot be applied retrospectively and will only start working from the day you implement them.

Automatic Bot Filtering

To do this you will need to log into your Google Analytics Account and gnavigate to the Admin -> View Settings.

Google Analytics Automatic Bot Filter


The enable Bot Filtering

Google Analytics Bot Filters

Manual Configuration

Although automatic Bot Filtering has improved and continues to improve it is not still 100% effective and you may still need to implement some manual configuration.

The best way to do this is by creating filters

Google Analytics Create Filters

Create new Filter and Custom and select Custom and Exclude and Referral from the Filter Field. 

Manually enter each URL you want to filter out one by one, or you can do what I do and put them all into one string using a POSIX regular expression
We created to filter exclusions list you can use below

Google Analytics Bot Filter

Future Release

We intend in future releases of Stop Web Crawlers to automate creation of Google Analytics filters directly from your WordPress website.


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Gary Woodfine

Helps businesses by improving their technical proficiencies and eliminating waste from the software development pipelines.

A unique background as business owner, marketing, software development and business development ensures that he can offer the optimum business consultancy services across a wide spectrum of business challenges.
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