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If you're one who checks Google Analytics often to see how your traffic is doing, you've problem seen a lot of sites popping up in analytics over the last year or so that don't make sense. It would seem like these you're getting traffic from strange sites, particularly those selling SEO or other marketing services.
It's spam. That's the bad news. The good news is that it's not really hurting you. The better news is that you can get rid of it. You may have checked out some of these sites to find your link. Wait, where is it? There's no link to your website there. How did... what the... wait a second. You just did what they intended you to do. They got you to their website in hopes that you'll think, "Hey, I need SEO. Let's see what these guys can offer."
Unfortunately, it works. They spoof traffic through a key sending requests from their website to yours, making it look as if they're visiting your website when they're not. This is how they get business. This is how they market their services. Let's let the annoyance or anger (it infuriates me) die down a bit. Now, let's offer a solution. Filtering. It's the only thing we've found to work. One by one, site by site, you have to plug them into a Google Analytics filter and eliminate them from your numbers. Here's how, courtesy of SomethingIDidNotKnow:
To add a filter:
The filter pattern is a regular expression, so every time you find a new source of spam, simply add another “|spammersite\.com” (remember to escape dots with a backslash, as they mean “any character”).
- go to your Administration page (last tab on your home page)
- All filters (on the leftmost column)
- New filter
- Choose Filter type “Custom” > “Exclude”
- Choose “Referral” from the Filter Field menu
- Set this as Filter pattern:semalt\.com|ilovevitaly\.co|priceg\.com|forum\..*darodar\.com|blackhatworth\.com|hulfingtonpost\.com|buttons-for-website\.com
- Select the views that you want to be filtered (I chose “All web site data”)
Now you know how to fix it. To stop it from continuing, don't support these companies. If you see them doing it, do not buy from them. In fact, we canceled a service (Semalt) once we started seeing that they were doing this. It's a plague that needs to be eradicated.