Referrer Spam in Google Analytics

Referrer Spam in Google Analytics

I review my Google Analytics data monthly and noticed a spike in referrals from  Please don’t go to that site – keep reading to find out why.

Referrer Spam in action

By clicking on the link in Google Analytics I could see the referral path – meaning the page that the person clicked on to arrive on my page.


Notice that this is just a slash (‘/’)?  According to this is characteristic of referrer spam.  In very simple terms, the spammer sends a phony request to Google Analytics to report that someone viewed your page.  Your site is never accessed at all.  For those interested in an in-depth description of how this occurs, check out the article.

The Purpose of Referrer Spam

Why on earth would a spammer do such a thing?  Because they will get paid when you click on a link (or enter it into your browser) to figure out where that link came from.  Check this infographic out:

Darodar-Infosheet on Referrer Spam

How to Stop Referrer Spam

Well, actually you can’t.  You can, however filter it out in Google Analytics “by creating a filter that uses a criteria based on the Referral field” ( or by overriding the page URI that is used in the Google Analytics snippet for your home page and then filtering by any Request URI field set to “/”.  The only hits with a Request URI field of “/” would be spam.  Again, check out the article here for full details.

I’m small enough that I don’t need accurate Analytics reports, but if you have advertisers or need to report to management, adjusting your Analytics filters to exclude referrer spam will give you more accurate numbers.


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