//What Is Referral Spam and How to Get Rid of It?

What Is Referral Spam and How to Get Rid of It?

What Is Referral Spam and How to Get Rid of It? Referral Spam (Referer Spam) is a relatively new spamming method which is an annoyance for web analysts and website owners. Referral Spam makes it very difficult to analyze real referral traffic using tools such as Google Analytics. It increases the server load, which can hinder access to the website for other users.

What is Referrer Spam?

Since the end of last year we see the increase in worthless referral traffic. Currently I have noticed two types of spam. The first one is called „referrer spam” and comes from crawlers – bots that index the site or collect information about it (for example semalt.com, buttons-for-website.com). The second one takes advantage of a vulnerability in Google Analytics system. Its goal is to fake a large number of visits to our website without any actual visits taking place. While doing research I encountered the perfect name for this kind of traffic – “ghost referrer spam”. The first type of spam can be blocked using .htaccess, but the second one is much more of a problem for any website owner. This kind of traffic needs to be eliminated because worthless traffic can render your data useless when it comes to the conversion rate, the bounce rate, the time spent on the website and many other valuable types of information.

The Goal of Referrer Spam

The goal of referral spam is to acquire traffic. An Analytics user who has noticed a new referral source usually wants to check it out. If you do it, you become the victim of spam. Often it’s also used as a form of advertisement by spammers who offer to promote your website in the same way.

Rererer Spam is harmful!

There are three main reasons why Referral Spam has negative consequences:

  • Spam bots unnecessarily increase the server load. As a result it can be difficult for regular user to access the website.
  • Google Analytics data gets distorted. It doesn’t change much when it comes to huge websites, but for a small site a few hundreds fake visitors can give a false image of the situation.
  • Spam websites might be infected with a malicious code or might redirect to a different address. By visiting them you become a potential victim.

How to recognize Referral Spam – current list of domains:

Listed below are the current popular domains used by spammers:

“SITE7.FLOATING-SHARE-BUTTONS.COM”, “SITE6.FLOATING-SHARE-BUTTONS.COM”, “SITE5.FLOATING-SHARE-BUTTONS.COM”, “SITE4.FLOATING-SHARE-BUTTONS.COM”, “SITE3.FLOATING-SHARE-BUTTONS.COM”, “SITE2.FLOATING-SHARE-BUTTONS.COM”, “SITE10.FLOATING-SHARE-BUTTONS.COM”, “SITE1.FLOATING-SHARE-BUTTONS.COM”, “SIMPLE-SHARE-BUTTONS.COM”, “SIBECOPROM.RU”, “WWW8.FREE-SOCIAL-BUTTONS.COM”, “WWW7.FREE-SOCIAL-BUTTONS.COM”, “WWW6.FREE-SOCIAL-BUTTONS.COM”, “WWW5.FREE-SOCIAL-BUTTONS.COM”, “SHOP.XZ618.COM”, “SHODANHQ.COM”, “SHAREBUTTON.TO”, “SHAREBUTTON.NET”, “SEXYTEENS.HOL.ES”, “SEXYALI.COM”, “SERW.CLICKSOR.COM”, “SEOPUB.NET”, “SEOEXPERIMENTY.RU”, “SEOANALYSES.COM”, “SEO-SMM.KZ”, “SEO-PLATFORM.COM”, “SEMALT.SEMALT.COM”, “SEMALT.COM”, “SEARCH-ERROR.COM”, “SCREENTOOLKIT.COM”, “SAVETUBEVIDEO.COM”, “SANJOSESTARTUPS.COM”, “SADY-URALA.RU”, “S.CLICK.ALIEXPRESS.COM”, “ROSPROMTEST.RU”, “RIGHTENERGYSOLUTIONS.COM.AU”, “REVERSING.CC”, “RESELLERCLUB.COM”, “RESEARCH.IFMO.RU”, “RCB101.RU”, “RAPIDGATOR-PORN.GA”, “RANKSONIC.ORG”, “RANKSONIC.INFO”, “ZAZAGAMES.ORG”, “ZASTROYKA.ORG”, “YOUTUBEDOWNLOAD.ORG”, “YOUPORN-RU.COM”, “YOUPORN-FORUM.UNI.ME”, “YOUPORN-FORUM.GA”, “YOUGETSIGNAL.COM”, “YKECWQLIXX.RU”, “WWW9.FREE-SOCIAL-BUTTONS.COM”, “WWW4.FREE-SOCIAL-BUTTONS.COM”, “WWW3.FREE-SOCIAL-BUTTONS.COM”, “WWW2.FREE-SOCIAL-BUTTONS.COM”, “WWW10.FREE-SOCIAL-BUTTONS.COM”, “WWW1.FREE-SOCIAL-BUTTONS.COM”, “WWW.KABBALAH-RED-BRACELETS.COM”, “WWW.EVENT-TRACKING.COM”, “WMASTERLEAD.COM”, “WEBSOCIAL.ME”, “WEBSITES-REVIEWS.COM”, “WEBMONETIZER.NET”, “WEBMASTER-TRAFFIC.COM”, “VODKOVED.RU”, “VODAODESSA.COM”, “VIKTORIA-CENTER.RU”, “VIEL.SU”, “VIDEOS-FOR-YOUR-BUSINESS.COM”, “VIDEOFROST.COM”, “VIDEO-WOMAN.COM”, “VIDEOPRODUCTION.COM”, “VIANDPET.COM”, “VAPMEDIA.ORG”, “UZUNGIL.COM”, “UASB.RU”, “TRION.OD.UA”, “TRAFFICMONETIZER.ORG”, “TRAFFICMONETIZE.ORG”, “TRAFFIC2MONEY.COM”, “TRAFFIC-PARADISE.ORG”, “TOYOTA.7ZAP.COM”, “TORTURE.ML”, “TOMCK.COM”, “THEGUARDLAN.COM”, “TEDXRJ.COM”, “TATTOOHA.COM”, “TAIHOUSE.RU”, “SUPERIENDS.ORG”, “SUCCESS-SEO.COM”, “STEAME.RU”, “STAR61.DE”, “SRECORDER.COM”, “SPRAVKA130.RU”, “SPB.AFORA.RU”, “SOUNDFROST.ORG”, “SOSDEPOTDEBILAN.COM”, “SOLNPLAST.RU”, “SOHOINDIA.NET”, “SOFTOMIX.RU”, “SOFTOMIX.NET”, “SOFTOMIX.COM”, “SOCIALSEET.RU”, “SOCIAL-BUTTONS.COM”, “SOAKSOAK.RU”, “SMAILIK.ORG”, “SLKRM.RU”, “SLFTSDYBBG.RU”, “SLEDSTVIE-VELI.NET”, “SITEVALUATION.ORG”, “SITERIPZ.NET”, “SITE9.FLOATING-SHARE-BUTTONS.COM”, “SITE8.FLOATING-SHARE-BUTTONS.COM”, “RANKSONIC.COM”, “QWESA.RU”, “QUICK-SEEKER.COM”, “QUALITYMARKETZONE.COM”, “QITT.RU”, “PSA48.RU”, “PROMOFORUM.RU”, “PROINTER.NET.UA”, “PRODVIGATOR.UA”, “PRODUCM.RU”, “PRICHESKI-VIDEO.COM”, “PRICEG.COM”, “POZDRAVLENIYA-C.RU”, “PORTNOFF.OD.UA”, “PORNOFORADULT.COM”, “PORNHUBFORUM.TK”, “PORNHUB-RU.COM”, “PORNHUB-FORUM.UNI.ME”, “PORNHUB-FORUM.GA”, “PLUSNETWORK.COM”, “PHOTOKITCHENDESIGN.COM”, “PETROVKA-ONLINE.COM”, “PALVIRA.COM.UA”, “OZAS.NET”, “OPENMEDIASOFT.COM”, “OPENFROST.NET”, “OPENFROST.COM”, “OOO-OLNI.RU”, “ONLYWOMAN.ORG”, “ONLINE-HIT.INFO”, “OK.RU”, “O-O-8-O-O.RU”, “O-O-8-O-O.COM”, “O-O-6-O-O.RU”, “O-O-6-O-O.COM”, “NOVOSTI-HI-TECH.RU”, “NIKI-MLT.RU”, “MYPRINTSCREEN.COM”, “MYFTPUPLOAD.COM”, “MUSICPROJECTFOUNDATION.COM”, “MUSCLE-FACTORY.COM.UA”, “MSK.AFORA.RU”, “MOYAKUHNIA.RU”, “MOBILEMEDIA.MD”, “MIRTORRENT.NET”, “MIROBUVI.COM.UA”, “MINI.7ZAP.COM”, “MINEGAM.COM”, “MEENDO-FREE-TRAFFIC.GA”, “MED-ZDOROVIE.COM.UA”, “MEBELDEKOR.COM.UA”, “MEBELCOMPLEKT.RU”, “MATURE.FREE-WEBSITES.COM”, “MASTERSEEK.COM”, “MARIDAN.COM.UA”, “MANUALTERAP.ROLEFORUM.RU”, “MAKEMONEYONLINE.COM”, “LUXUP.RU”, “LIVEFIXER.COM”, “LITTLEBERRY.RU”, “LAXDRILLS.COM”, “KONKURSOV.NET”, “KNIGONOSHA.NET”, “KINOPOLET.NET”, “KINO-KEY.INFO”, “KINO-FUN.RU”, “KAZRENT.COM”, “KAMBASOFT.COM”, “KABBALAH-RED-BRACELETS.COM”, “JUSTPROFIT.XYZ”, “JOINGAMES.ORG”, “JOINANDPLAY.ME”, “JJBABSKOE.RU”, “JAPFM.COM”, “IT-MAX.COM.UA”, “ISPANIYA-COSTA-BLANCA.RU”, “ISKALKO.RU”, “INVESTPAMM.RU”, “INBABES.SEXUSHOST.COM”, “IMPERIAFILM.RU”, “IMINENT.COM”, “ILOVEVITALY.RU”, “ILOVEVITALY.ORG”, “ILOVEVITALY.INFO”, “ILOVEVITALY.COM”, “ILOVEVITALY.CO”, “ILOVEITALY.RU”, “ILOVEITALY.RO”, “ILLAGEDUSEXE.COM”, “IGRU-XBOX.NET”, “ICO.RE”, “HVD-STORE.COM”, “HUNDEJO.COM”, “HUMANORIGHTSWATCH.ORG”, “HULFINGTONPOST.COM”, “HOWTOSTOPREFERRALSPAM.EU”, “HOWTOSTOPREFERRALSPAM.COM”, “HOWOPEN.RU”, “HONGFANJI.COM”, “HARDCORE.ANZWERS.NET”, “HANDICAPVANTODAY.COM”, “GUARDLINK.ORG”, “GRATUITBAISE.COM”, “GOOGLSUCKS.COM”, “GOODPROTEIN.RU”, “GOBONGO.INFO”, “GLAVPROFIT.RU”, “GKVECTOR.RU”, “GIRLPORN.RU”, “GHAZEL.RU”, “GETYOURPROFIT.NET”, “GET-FREE-SOCIAL-TRAFFIC.COM”, “GERMES-TRANS.COM”, “GENERALPORN.ORG”, “FSALAS.COM”, “FREEWHATSAPPLOAD.COM”, “FREE-SOCIAL-BUTTONS.ORG”, “FREE-SOCIAL-BUTTONS.COM”, “FREE-SHARE-BUTTONS.COM”, “FREE-SHARE-BUTTONS.CO”, “FREE-FLOATING-BUTTONS.COM”, “FORUM69.INFO”, “FORUM20.SMAILIK.ORG”, “FORSEX.INFO”, “FOREX-PROCTO.RU”, “FLOATING-SHARE-BUTTONS.COM”, “FEMMESDENUDEES.COM”, “FEEDOUBLE.NET”, “FEEDOUBLE.COM”, “FBFREEGIFTS.COM”, “FBDOWNLOADER.COM”, “EXTENER.ORG”, “EXTENER.COM”, “EVENT-TRACKING.COM”, “EUROSAMODELKI.RU”, “EUROPAGES.COM.RU”, “EUROMASTERCLASS.RU”, “ESTE-LINE.COM.UA”, “ESCORT-RUSSIAN.COM”, “EROT.CO”, “EMBEDLE.COM”, “ELMIFARHANGI.COM”, “EKTO.EE”, “EGOVALEO.IT”, “EDAKGFVWQL.RU”, “ECONOM.CO”, “ECOMP3.RU”, “E-KWIACIARZ.PL”, “E-BUYEASY.COM”, “DVR.BIZ.UA”, “DRUPA.COM”, “DOSTAVKA-V-KRYM.COM”, “DOSKA-VSEM.RU”, “DOMINATION.ML”, “DOJKI-HD.COM”, “DJEKXA.RU”, “DIPSTAR.ORG”, “DETSKIE-KONSTRUKTORY.RU”, “DESCARGAR-MUSICAS-GRATIS.COM”, “DESCARGAR-MUSICA-GRATIS.NET”, “DEPOSITFILES-PORN.GA”, “DEMENAGEUR.COM”, “DELFIN-AQUA.COM.UA”, “DARODAR.COM”, “DAILYRANK.NET”, “CXPROMOTE.COM”, “CUSTOMSUA.COM.UA”, “CUBOOK.SUPERNEW.ORG”, “CONNECTIKASTUDIO.COM”, “CONCIERGEGROUP.ORG”, “CODYSBBQ.COM”, “CODERSTATE.COM”, “CIVILWARTHEATER.COM”, “CITYADSPIX.COM”, “CI.UA”, “CHINESE-AMEZON.COM”, “CFSRATING.SONICWALL.COM”, “CEZARTABAC.RO”, “CENOVAL.RU”, “CENOKOS.RU”, “CARTECHNIC.RU”, “CARDIOSPORT.COM.UA”, “BUY-FORUM.RU”, “BUY-CHEAP-ONLINE.INFO”, “BUTTONS-FOR-YOUR-WEBSITE.COM”, “BUTTONS-FOR-WEBSITE.COM”, “BUDMAVTOMATIKA.COM.UA”, “BROTHERS-SMALLER.RU”, “BRK-RTI.RU”, “BREAK-THE-CHAINS.COM”, “BRAKEHAWK.COM”, “BMW.AFORA.RU”, “BLUEROBOT.INFO”, “BLUE-SQUARE.BIZ”, “BLACKHATWORTH.COM”, “BIZRU.INFO”, “BILLIARD-CLASSIC.COM.UA”, “BIGLISTOFWEBSITES.COM”, “BIF-RU.INFO”, “BESTWEBSITESAWARDS.COM”, “BESTWEBSITEAWARDS.COM”, “BESTMOBILITYSCOOTERSTODAY.COM”, “BEST-SEO-SOLUTION.COM”, “BEST-SEO-SOFTWARE.XYZ”, “BEST-SEO-OFFER.COM”, “BARD-REAL.COM.UA”, “BALITOUROFFICE.COM”, “BALADUR.RU”, “BAIXAR-MUSICAS-GRATIS.COMSAVETUBEVIDEO.COM”, “BAIXAR-MUSICAS-GRATIS.COM”, “BACKGROUNDPICTURES.NET”, “AZARTCLUB.ORG”, “AVIVA-LIMOUX.COM”, “AUTOVIDEOBROADCAST.COM”, “ARUPLIGHTING.COM”, “ARTPARQUET.RU”, “ARKKIVOLTTI.NET”, “ARENDAKVARTIR.KZ”, “ANTICRAWLER.ORG”, “ANDROID-STYLE.COM”, “ANAPA-INNS.RU”, “ANAL-ACROBATS.HOL.ES”, “AMT-K.RU”, “AMANDA-PORN.GA”, “ALTERMIX.UA”, “ALPHARMA.NET”, “ALLWOMEN.INFO”, “ALLNEWS.MD”, “ALLKNOW.INFO”, “AKUHNI.BY”, “AFORA.RU”, “AFFORDABLEWEBSITESANDMOBILEAPPS.COM”, “ADVICEFORUM.INFO”, “ADVENTUREPARKCOSTARICA.COM”, “ADSPART.COM”, “ADCASH.COM”, “ACADS.NET”, “A-HAU.MK”, “SEMALTMEDIA.COM”, “GET-FREE-TRAFFIC-NOW.COM”, “7MAKEMONEYONLINE.COM”, “5FOREX.RU”, “4WEBMASTERS.ORG”, “4WEBMASTERS.COM”, “1PAMM.RU”, “12MASTEROV.COM”, “100DOLLARS-SEO.COM”, “0N-LINE.TV”

How to block Referral Spam?

The most popular methods of getting rid of Referral Spam are presented below.  It’s important to remember that for any of them to work properly you need to regularly monitor referring domains and update the list of spam domains.

1. Blocking spam bots through .htaccess

The best way to get rid of various bots overloading the website is to block the traffic on the server. If you use an Apache server it’s very easy to block traffic using .htaccess.   Listed below are 3 methods of eliminating traffic using an .htaccess file which needs to be uploaded to the main folder on your server:   Instructions 1:

RewriteEngine on RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} Example-website1.com [OR,NC]RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} Example-website2.com [OR,NC] RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} Example-website3.net [OR,NC] RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} Example-website4.com RewriteRule . – [F]

Instructions 2:

order allow,deny deny from ExampleWebsite.com deny from Example.website.com allow from all

Instructions 3: If you have the spammer’s IP you can eliminate traffic from this particular IP or even from the whole class. You can find the IP addresses in the server logs.

order allow,deny deny from 000.000.0.00 deny from 000.00.000.0 allow from all

 

2. WordPress Plugin

If you don’t have access to your .htaccess file or you feel you don’t have enough knowledge to edit it, you can find many useful and legit plugins. They’re listed below:

  1. Bot Block – Stop Spam Referrals in Google Analytics
  2. WP referrer spam blacklist (Ghost Spam in Google Analytics)
  3. WP Referrer Spam Blocker
  4. SpamReferrerBlock
  5. Custom Referral Spam Blocker
  6. WP Block Referrer Spam

and many more at https://wordpress.org/plugins/search.php?q=Referral+Spam

3. Google Analytics Filters

Excluding spam domains

Setting up a filter that excludes spam domains is an effective solution.

 

Following the example below we create a filter blocking referrals from a particular domain:

 

Instructions:

  • Administration
  • View Filters
  • New Filter
  • Create new Filter
  • Type a name for the filter
  • Select the type under Custom
  • Select Exclude
  • Select Referral
  • type Filter Pattern
  • Validate by verifying the typed filter
  • Save!

 

  • Filter Pattern = ..darodar.com

The above filter is going to exclude all traffic from addresses ending with darodar.com. The filter is going to exclude all subdomains under the main domain containing the phrase darodar.com. When you create a filter it’s important to add it first in the Test View. It’s also important to remember that the order in which you apply filters matters! Remember that the “Filter Pattern” field has a 255 character limit, so including only unique character strings from spam domain names lets you list more of them. You can also exclude spam traffic from different countries. Under “Filter Field” you need to select “Country” and then type the name of the country you want to exclude.

By |2017-11-19T01:42:33+00:00December 12th, 2015|Blog|Comments Off on What Is Referral Spam and How to Get Rid of It?

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