How to Remove Referral Spam In Google Analytics

I recently logged into my Google Analytics account (having not logged in for a while) and I got a bit of a shock. A good shock, or so I thought it was good.

I logged in and saw all this traffic I was getting. Naturally, I was thrilled.

However, when I dug a bit deeper, I saw that it wasn’t a nice bump in traffic at all. It was a nice bump in spam traffic.

What is spam traffic I hear you ask? It is actually fake traffic. And by fake traffic, I mean, these traffic sources I see in my Google Analytics account, didn’t ever actually hit my website. In fact, it’s just a spam bot, crawling my site. So there was no user going to my site and reading my content after all.

In fact, there are a number of theories of why these spam bots exist. One such theory is that they attract their own traffic. So, someone like me, sees this weird URL is my traffic sources report, and then I go to that website to check it out.

Anyway, I digress. Point is, I don’t like it there, distorting all my data.

And the good news is, you can filter it out! And I’m going to show you how….. yes, you can thank me later. 🙂

Firstly, how do you know find out if you have Referral Spam

If you are not sure what we mean, do this simple task.

Step 1: Log into your Google Analytics account.

Step 2: On the left hand menu, go to Acquisition -> Overview -> All Traffic -> Source/Medium


From here you’ll be able to view various traffic sources including referral spam. These usually have 100% bounce rate.

You can see a snapshot of what I mean below:


How Do You Remove Referral Spam?

Watch This Video To See How We Do It

Alternatively, here are step by step instructions

First, you want to create a filtered view. This is because you don’t want to edit the raw data. Just make a copy and then work with the copy.

  1. On the top menu, click on admin. 3
  2. Click on view settings4
  3. On the upper right, click on “copy view”5
  4. Enter a name for your new view, you are allowed a total of 25 views.6Click on Copy View
  5. On your new view, click on “Filters”7
  6. Click on “Add Filter”8
  7. Enter the filter name and choose campaign source from the dropdown.9
  8. From your list of potential spam referral sites, copy everything10
  9. And paste everything under “Filter Pattern”11
  10. Click “Save”

Next step is to filter by Hostname

  1. On the upper left of the screen, click on “Reporting”.12
  2. On the right sidebar, go to Audience -> Network13
  3. Click on “Hostname”14
  4. Copy your host name(s)15
  5. Go back to the Admin Section -> Filters and click on “Add Filter”16
  6. Enter the Name of the filter again and select Include.17
  7. The dropdown field should say “Host Name”.
  8. Paste the host name on the Filter Pattern field.
  9. Click on Save


A couple of things to remember….

Do not edit your primary view. This is your raw data and you want to keep this untouched. Always create a new view to be used for testing or troubleshooting.

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