Beat with a shovel and dancing like a paralytics

Newsletter sent 2015-11-04.

Beat with a shovel and dancing like a paralytics

Seeing strange search keywords in your Google Analytics reports? Wondering how anyone could find your website using those expressions? They didn’t…the traffic being reported is fake and never actually happened. There’s a simple way to get rid of it, but it involves a little bit of work.

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Google Analytics Spam

For the past 11 months, I have been maintaining the Definitive Guide to Removing Referral Spam; a complete step-by-step guide to installing the filters necessary to keep the spam and fake traffic out of your Analytics. I continue to monitor and update the recommendations and filter expressions as things have changed. Just follow the steps and you’ll be spam-free.

There are a number of free referral spam filter services available, but Jason Packer at Quantable was the first to encode my process, and you can use his service for free to set up the filters.

 

Is Google Doing Anything to Stop Them?

Google doesn’t talk openly about their spam-cleansing efforts, and I don’t blame them: it would be like telling the spammers how to get around their defenses. But are they doing anything? Yes, they are, and I say that because I have seen the spam traffic drop steadily for the past several months. The ones getting through are being very canny and are constantly moving targets. If you want clean analytics reports, you should be using a filtered view.

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For a while, I offered a service to build the filters for you for a fixed fee, but you can do it all for free and I don’t run a  consulting business, so it is just a distraction for me. Kind of like the spam traffic is a distraction in your Analytics; don’t give it any more attention than it deserves.

I’m getting back to building the best little add-in for Excel.

 

Mike Sullivan
Founder, Analytics Edge