Special Topics - Spam Traffic

So you may consult Google Analytics and think, ok cool, I'm getting a certain amount of traffic. I wonder where it's coming from? For example in this graphic, for this time period, the source is "semalt.com". Hmmm, what's that?

Well, if you go to the site it turns out to be a pitch for an SEO service. So it's actually a sophisticated form of spam; an automated crawler that pings the site and hopes that some website owners will respond and pay for the service.

So this kind of traffic can throw off your statistics, but it turns out there is at least some chance of filtering it out. For a given Google Analytics property, you can turn on a filter.

"Unfortunately, while generating fake traffic from all kinds of bot networks is big business and accounts for almost a third of all traffic to many sites according to some reports, Google is only filtering out traffic from known bots and spiders. It’s using the IAB’s “International Spiders & Bots List” for this, which is updated monthly."

So it's worth trying - go into Admin and View Settings.

And then check the box and click Save.

Whether a given site/bot/spam crawler is on Google's list is not a given; it's also not clear how long it takes for the feature to "turn on", but try checking back in a day or two to see if your spam traffic is still showing.

Good luck!

The main takeaway is that not all traffic is "legitimate" traffic.