Cleaning Up Google Analytics Referral Spam

First of all, we need to create a new “view.” We want to always keep an unfiltered view for troubleshooting (the control group for you science nerds), and then we’ll customize a view that shows us the specific analytics we want to see! Here we go. 1-1 1-2 1-3 1-4 (this was the easy part…) Next up, we’ll take care of those nice and behaved bots and spiders. The ones that are just doing their job and identify themselves when they visit. We aren’t going to stop them from visiting, they are cute little guys. We’re just going to pretend we don’t see them and tell our view not to show us how many of them there are. http://www.lunametrics.com/…/bot-spider-filtering-google-a…/ 2-1 2-2 2-3 (ok, now its about to get advanced… go get your nerd glasses) Now we have to get rid of what are usually called “ghost referrals.” These are visits that actually never landed on your website. They ran a program that tripped random analytics tracking ids and even potentially attached other queries like fake search terms. Warning, this step gets a little more advanced. Its quite possible you’ll have no idea what you are doing, but just follow the directions. That is why we made the filtered view… its ok to screw this up. Extra side note for uber nerds: If you’re using your tracking code on any other properties besides your website, you need to make sure you think about that during this step. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, this probably doesn’t apply to you. What we’re going to do here is make sure that visits that show in this view ACTUALLY landed on our website. This step is much easier if you’ve had analytics installed for a while, because you can go back and reference old data. Lets assume you have, here is the search you want to do (make sure you switch back to the “All Web Site Data” view, and change the date range to at least a few months back, more if you want): What you are looking for here are YOUR OWN web properties. Note that www.ablazephoto.com and ablazephoto.com count as two different domains. I also have ablazephotography.com redirecting to the main domain.

If you’re an advanced user, you might have e
xtra things on this list that you track. For example, you could have a checkout page on a webstore (maybe you sell something on shopify). If you use your tracking code there, you might want to include those properties on this list depending on how you do your goal setting. Again, if you have no idea what I’m talking about, ignore this paragraph.

One more nerd note. If you see a ton of results from “(not set)” like I do in my screenshot, you might want to investigate why. Here is an article that can guide you if you are pretty fluent in nerd speak.http://www.lunametrics.com/…/11-places-google…/
3-1 Ok, back to you non nerds and people who are scratching their heads right now.

Time to switch back to our “Real Traffic” view and make a filter! 3-2 Then click “New Filter”

Now, go ahead and do these 4 things so it looks like this…. 3-3 And this next step is where I loose people sometimes so hold on tight. For inspiration, watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnIH3Q6LqF0

ALLS I WANT YOU TO DO is make a list of all the properties we found in that hostname search above tha
t belong to you, and I want you to put them on ONE line, and I want you to seperate them by a little line thingy and I want you to put a forward slash before all the periods. EASY PEEZY!

So here is mine:
www\.ablazephoto\.com|ablazephoto\.com|www\.ablazephotography\.com

Watch that again in slow motion.
ONE (get your list)
www.ablazephoto.com
ablazephoto.com
www.ablazephotography.com

TWO (put them on one line with the little line thingy between them: hint: its on the key with the forward slash)
www.ablazephoto.com|ablazephoto.com|www.ablazephotography.com

THREE (escape the periods. Put a forward slash before them)
www\.ablazephoto\.com|ablazephoto\.com|www\.ablazephotography\.com

BAM. DONE.

Now put that in the filter pattern box.

You can verify the filter if you’d like. All those spam hostnames should be showing zero after the filter.

SAVE (the world from spam)
3-4 WARNING: You may feel lonely after you filter out all this spam and realize you don’t have as much real traffic to your website as you thought you did. It can be a little depressing. But thats ok, because we don’t want to pretend we are awesome, we want to BE awesome… and this is the first step!! Ok step 4 is very similar to step 3. We’re going to create another filter. Except this time we are going to exclude known offenders instead of including our own properties. This will prevent against spam bots that ACTUALLY crawl our page (unlike the ghosts from step 3), but are not behaved like the spiders and bots in step 2. This one is again, somewhat complicated and there are multiple ways to approach it. This is the only one that will actually require ongoing maintenance because you’ll need to occasionally check your referral sources and add new spam bots to this filter. For right now, I’m going to give the advanced users an article to go read, everyone else just stick with me, trust me, and do what I tell you. lol. I’ll keep it simple, and I’ll show you how to know if it needs updating in a future tutorial! Here is the article: http://www.ohow.co/what-is-referrer-spam-how-stop-it-guide Alright, first step, we need to make a new filter, you should remember this from step 3! 3-2 Make the settings match this screenshot. For the filter pattern, I just want you to copy and paste THIS:

(best|100dollars|success)\-seo|(videos|buttons)\-for|anticrawler|musica\-gratis|semalt|forum69|7makemoney|sharebutton|ranksonic|sitevaluation|dailyrank 4 THATS IT! Save that junk!

Your Google Analytics (at least in the “Real Traffic View”) should be nice and clean going forward!

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