In the past few newsletters we have been commenting on spam robots and Ghost referrers in Google Analytics.
Until now it has been a case of applying custom filters in an effort to remove these from Analytics reports.
Unfortunately the number of spam robots and ghost referrer sites is growing so rapidly that we do not think Google Analytics will be providing very much useful information at all very soon. It may not be worth monitoring your stats at all until Google finds a solution to the problem. It is now almost impossible to keep up with the problem by manually updating manual filters.
The main data that is affected and distorted in your stats includes: sessions, users, page views, pages per session, average session duration, bounce rate, new sessions, geographic data and referrals.
That doesn’t leave very much useful information.
So far there doesn’t seem to be any acknowledgement from Google that there is even a problem. But there are certainly a lot of “industry people” around the world who know that there is, and would like to see it resolved urgently.
We don’t know of any web site that hasn’t been affected by this. Analytics data for sites with smaller amounts of traffic are proportionally biased to a much greater degree than sites with larger amounts of traffic. We have seen small sites where approximately 90-95% of the reported traffic is from these spam referrers and robots.
So what are the spam sites we are referring to? Look in your referrals list for sites like semalt, darodar, makemoneyonline, googlesucks, pornhub, iloveitaly, buttons-for-website, best-seo-offer and many, many more similar names. Do not click on any of these sites – that is what they want you to do and may install malware if you do.
So beware, your stats may not be giving you an accurate picture of your site’s performance now. We hope there is a resolution soon, but we are not really expecting to see one.