Posted by eireland 1 year, 4 months ago

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Your Google Analytics reports may be haunted by what experts call ghost spam. In a nutshell, ghost spam is neither human nor bot, it’s fake data being sent to your Google Analytics saying that users were referred to your site from domains that never linked to you. The intent is to get your attention and spark enough curiosity so you’ll visit the site to investigate the referral traffic. There, the site will offer you something, bombard you with ads, get your email or even worse, leave you vulnerable to malware.

To determine which sites send you the most traffic using Google Analytics, follow Reporting > Acquisition > All Traffic > Referrals. You can also find this irrelevant traffic within a search of organic and direct website referrals.

One of the most common ghost spammers shows up as rank-checker.online which leads you to the site ranksonic.com a page that offers tracking services for competitors. A few other examples of fake referrals include keywords-monitoring-your-success.com (pretty slick looking shady site), share-buttons.xyz, social-widget.xyz, and free-video-tool.com. I also found this list of spammers detected recently:

This kind of data can dramatically skew the accuracy of your Google Analytics report although it's not ALL scary. Ghost spam does not impact SEO rankings because data from Analytics is not considered by Google. However, the ghost spam can keep piling up leaving you with useless data unless you fight back “ghostbusters” style.

I found a great step-by-step tutorial on how to clean and scrub your Google Analytics report to “bust” spam here. It also appears to be continually updated. Thanks Carlos Escalera!

If there's something strange in your Google Analytics report…who ya gonna call?

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