Once upon a time, spam was just a particularly horrible type of tinned meat. Nowadays, when we hear the word spam, we instantly associate it with unwanted emails, and all kinds of other nonsense generally wasting our time. Spam is everywhere, and unfortunately the world of Google Analytics is far from being spam-free.
Referral spam is a major frustration of using Google Analytics, but until Google chooses to blacklist known spam referrers it’s a problem that we just have to deal with. So we need to get rid of referral spam, and ensure that it can’t impact on our operation and business.
To remove referral spam, we need to create multiple “Exclude” filters because Google Analytics has a character limit of 255 characters in a filter field and, sadly, there are more than 255 characters worth of spam referrers out there.
For each filter we need to choose a Custom Filter Type, and then choose the Exclude option, with a Campaign Source field. Some example filters include the following:
Referral Spam #1
Referral Spam #2
Referral Spam #3
Referral Spam #4
I’ll most likely update this soon with a Referral Spam #5, so keep this page bookmarked.
Following the tips here will set you on the right track with referral spam. And this is definitely something that you will want to remove from your Google Analytics account. Do remember though to apply these filters to your Filtered Data views and not your All Web Site Data so that you have a record of all your referrers in case you eliminate too many of them.
Don’t let spam ruin your day.