New wave of referrer spam wrecking Google Analytics data


A new surge of referrer spam is damaging Google Analytics data sets. These attacks have rendered the Traffic Referrals report useless for many Google Analytics properties. The problem can even be so significant for small business sites that it seriously distorts the number of sessions and page views.

In the following example, lines 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 are all spam.

Referrer Spam

Referrer spam

Traffic Report Seriously Distorted by Spam

Traffic report seriously distorted by spam

Why would attackers generate Google Analytics spam? Webmasters look at Google Analytics and frequently visit a site that appears in the data. Referrer spam can thus be used to generate traffic and sales leads, spread malware or conduct phishing attacks.

If you see a suspicious site in your referrer data, don’t visit it. Some attacks are just for the “lulz,” like this one:

Language Spam

Language spam

[Read the full article on Marketing Land]

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