January 18, 2016

Ghost Spam

.новым.годом.рф / referral traffic

If you found this particular referral on your reports it means that you have been targeted by spam. с.новым.годом.рф as any other Ghost Spam in Google Analytics leaves a fake trail of data, polluting your reports and lowering the quality of your metrics.

Will show you a quick way to clean and keep away the spam from your Google Analytics property to maintain your reports clean and useful.

What is с.новым.годом.рф?

This type of referral is commonly called Ghost Spam; it receives this name because it is not a real referral, it gets directly into your Google Analytics reports and never accesses your site. So all the data left, the hostname, the page, the metrics are fake.

If you try to visit the URL of the spammer, you will be redirected to http://xn--q1a.xn--b1aube0e.xn--c1acygb.xn--p1ai/ both URL’s are in Russian and have the words new year on it.

Purpose of the Spam

The intention behind Google Analytics Spam is the same as any other spam on the internet, get attention and lure

people to do or buy something.

The final goal differs, some will offer you an SEO service and some others will redirect you to an online store or service to get a commission.

Sometimes, you may be redirected to known websites like aliexpress.com (a famous online store) but this doesn’t necessarily means that they are the ones behind the spam but rather someone that uses their affiliate program to get a commission from them.

Ghost spammer GA.jpg

How to stop referral spam?

Since Ghost Spam hits directly your Google Analytics you have to stop it from there using filters.

But before moving forward you have to make sure that you have at least two views:

  • MASTER View: where you will apply the filters and use for analysis.
  • UNFILTERED View: for raw data, it will work as a backup and to compare your data. You won’t apply any filter in this view (internal filters are fine)
  • TEST View(Optional): if you want to be extra cautious when creating filters you can have a third view that you can use for testing your filters.

Create a filter for referral spam

The most suggested solution is to create an EXCLUDE filter for referrals. This solution is Corrective, which means you will need to create/update a filter everytime a new spammer shows up.

This solution is simple but inefficient since there are lots of spam, but mainly because Ghost spam has a lifespan of around two weeks, after that time the spammer changes the name.

Advanced Solution: A better approach is to create an INCLUDE filter with your hostnames that will only allow real traffic. This solution requires more time and its a bit more complex, but it has three advantages: is Preventive, requires None-Less Maintenance and Stops any form of the spam (whether it shows as a referral, organic, event or direct visit).

This filter works because Ghost Spam never accesses your site, so it doesn’t know who is it hitting. Therefore, all data is fake, including the hostname, so allowing only traffic from real hostnames will automatically leave all spam out.

If you need assistance or simply don’t have the time, I can personally set up the Advanced solution to get rid of ALL Ghost Spam, create an Advanced segment to clean it from your historical data and check for other Best practices and recommended settings in your Google Analytics.

Here’s the list typed out: 1. website-analyzer.info

  1. с.новым.годом.рф
  2. xyz
  3. boost-my-site.com
  4. com
  5. top1-seo-service.com
  6. site-21755991-1.snip.tw
  7. ml
  8. build-a-better-business.2your.site
  9. xyz

How to block с.новым.годом.рф referral spam

This guide shows you how to block с.новым.годом.рф referrals in Google Analytics with a filter which stops с.новым.годом.рф referrer spam at the source.

    1. Open your Google Analytics account and go to the Admin tab and click All Filters.

 

  1. Add с.новым.годом.рф or something you can easily remember as the Filter Name.
  2.   Ghost spammer2
  3. Select the Custom Filter Type.
  4. Ghost spammer3
  5. In Filter Field, find and select Campaign Source in the list. In the Filter Pattern text box, add с.новым.годом.рф | yeartwit.comand click the blue Save button on the bottom of the webpage. To add multiple URLs to the same filter you can make a Filter Pattern similar to this with a | between each URL: example.com | с.новым.годом.рф | yeartwit.com