Spam in Google Analytics?

Yes, the popularity of Google Analytics has gotten to the point that it has become a popular target for spammer. They have discovered that they can spoof the system into thinking that real traffic went to your website from fake referrals, searches and events.

Their objective: make you go to their website to see what is going on. Don’t do it! 

What is a ghost referral?

A ghost referral is a fake visit created by spammers spoofing the Google Analytics tracking servers into thinking that your website had referral traffic from their site. In reality, no one ever visited your site! They don’t even know what it is – they randomly select tracking id numbers. A Valid Hostname filter is the best defense.

What is a ghost visit?

A ghost referral is a fake visit created by spammers spoofing the Google Analytics tracking servers into thinking that your website had real traffic, and it could appear as a referral, as an organic search with fake keywords, as direct visits with fake landing pages and even as fake events. In reality, no one ever visited your site! They don’t even know what it is – they randomly select tracking id numbers. A Valid Hostname filter is the best defense.

What is a valid hostname filter?

When traffic hits your web server, it records the server name in the Google Analytics ‘hostname‘ field. Since spoofed traffic doesn’t actually know what your website is, it contains fake hostname values. Your can easily create a filter to let in only traffic that contains your valid hostname value. See the Definitive Guide for detailed instructions.