Thanks Thanks:  0
Likes Likes:  0
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 20
  1. #1
    Member Since
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Little Italy Neighborhood in San Diego, CA
    Posts
    108
    Thanks (Received)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    1

    More referrer spam...

    The referral spam is starting to get a little much to keep up with. At first I blocked all the Semalt and semalt.semalt.com hits as well as I Love Italy and Buttons for Websites, but have found a few more such as Daroder, Make Money Online7 and others.

    Since most of my clients are local, I was thinking to filter out all non US referrals. I guess it depends on the type of business, but does anyone have a better solution with fighting the referral spam? I just want to get accurate analytics and view a real bounce rate. Also, since the bots don't move past one page, the hits may be hurting rank.

    Thanks for your ideas,
    Dino

  2. #2
    Member Since
    Jun 2012
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    17,018
    Thanks (Received)
    36
    Likes (Received)
    41

    Re: More referrer spam...

    I don't have an answer but I've had Semalt spam too.

    You make a good point. Many of these SMBs don't get that much traffic, so bots could really skew the numbers.

    I'll try to remember to bump this in the AM when more are online and see what folks think.
    Is Our Content HELPFUL? Please pay the community back by sharing!

    LocalSearchForumLinda Buquet .:. Google Local Specialist

    Consulting, Troubleshooting & White Label Services for SEOs & Agencies

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! SUBSCRIBE to Daily Email Digest Here

    Are you a PRO? Join the "Local Search Pros" G+ Community!

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon". ;-)

  3. #3
    Member Since
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    144
    Thanks (Received)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Re: More referrer spam...

    Yes, please. I'd love to see a solution to this.
    Rich Owings
    Local Is Where It's At | Asheville, NC SEO

  4. #4
    Member Since
    Jul 2012
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    11
    Thanks (Received)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Angry Re: More referrer spam...

    Referral spam is a nightmare when trying to look at analytics on local sites. I block via htaccess as standard now on all sites I put up, regardless of whether they have been hit or not - saves time later.
    I have my rant about Semalt and options for blocking/filtering, including a txt doc download to add to htaccess on my blog. (Semalt Referral Spam and Shady Tactics | My Local Business Online please remove the link if not allowed)
    The txt doc includes semalt and friends, ilovevitaly and friends and daroder as these are the ones that my clients have had issues with. It's simple to add any others you see too.

  5. #5
    Member Since
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Rochester NY
    Posts
    951
    Thanks (Received)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Re: More referrer spam...

    You all picked a sore spot for me and we are currently taking more aggressive steps to alleviate the Semalt nuisance. Semalt has changed tactics as more people start to question what they are doing. We have seen a huge increase in crawling from sites associated with Seamalt. The immediate issue is referral traffic skewing the GA reports. For low traffic sites this is causing bounce rates into the 75% range. We are doing two things to fix things.

    1. Set up a "Referral Exclusion" within the Admin panel: Go to Admin>Properties (choose your account) > .js Tracking > Referral Exclusion List. You can then add the sites you want to exclude from your referral traffic. You are at least hiding the data.

    2. You can set up filters excluding Seamalt sites ( screenshot )

    3. Set up blocks at the server level: I'm going to try and have my IT guy Dustin pipe into this conversation. We are now setting up Rules to block the following sites from crawling our sites. One of the draw backs to this being that this can slow your sites down as add more sites.


    A couple more thoughts about Seamalt. They are a Ukrainian company that continues to ignore questions and concerns people have. Do not go to there site and request to have them stop crawling. They do offer a page that you can submit your site to, but you are only feeding crack to a crack addict.

    I also noticed a couple of other things. When we switched sites over to responsive or SSL they crawling increased.

    One concern keeps crossing my brain. I'm wondering what kind of impact High bounce rates ( in the 75% range ) could have on Ranking/Google Trust over a long period of time. I've read several thoughts on this, but for now we are taking steps to block

    Hope that helps....

    Attached Images Attached Images    

  6. #6
    Member Since
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    62
    Thanks (Received)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Re: More referrer spam...

    The new class of referrer spam can't be blocked by .htaccess or in Google Tag Manager because the bots aren't hitting your website. They are randomly generating Google Analytics account IDs and then querying Google using the offline tracking API or the noscript gif.

    I handle about 100 websites, and can clearly see this -- they are even hitting dormant GA accounts with no live tracking code. You can confirm this by checking your weblogs or secondary analytics tools like clicky. The semalt style spam is still there, but some of the more obnoxious newer bots won't be.

    Because both kinds of spam are utilizing Google campaign variables, here are the two best ways to block in Google Analytics

    semalt-style bots:

    Custom > Exclude > Campaign Source > Filter Pattern > buttons-for|semalt

    Google Analytics Spam

    Because these guys are using GA variables, you cannot actually block using referrer or campaign. You have to use language -- so far, they have been either Russian or Portuguese. Block both unless Russia or Brazil is a prime market for you:

    Custom > Exclude > Language > Filter Pattern > ru

    Custom > Exclude > Language > Filter Pattern > pt

  7. #7
    Member Since
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Rochester NY
    Posts
    951
    Thanks (Received)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Re: More referrer spam...

    Ok, I meant to say we are doing 3 things....Apparently I can't count this morning.

  8. #8
    Member Since
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    62
    Thanks (Received)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Re: More referrer spam...

    DustyBones

    You are not using Referral Exclusion correctly (there is an EXCELLENT review of this issue at Removing Referral Spam from Google Analytics - Analytics Edge)

    tl;dr Adding these guys to the Referral Exclusion list does not block them - it simply converts the traffic to Direct. THe only sure way to stop the ghost referrals right now is to add a second property to your GA account, since the ghost spammers are not targeting "-2", "-3"

  9. #9
    Member Since
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Rochester NY
    Posts
    951
    Thanks (Received)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Re: More referrer spam...

    Thanks pbarnhart, will try your suggestions as well.

    ---------- Post Merged at 09:36 AM ---------- Previous Post was at 09:24 AM ----------

    Love the Language Block...

    thanks

  10. #10
    Member Since
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Melbourne Australia
    Posts
    487
    Thanks (Received)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Re: More referrer spam...

    did you guys know semalt has an "opt-out" list? I use it for all clients sites and so far they've honoured every request
    Semalt Crawler

    That doesn't take care of all the problem bots, but makes that one a little easier.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •