Semalt Islamabad Expert Explains What To Do With Referrer Spam In Your Google Analytics

For most website owners, referrer spam traffic is a major problem affecting the traffic metrics. In Google Analytics, some traffic figures might show up but not reflect on your website dashboard. In these cases, there is a high chance that such web visits do not originate from human visitors but "zombie" computers. Traffic from bots and botnets reduce the accuracy of digital marketing techniques such as SEO and content marketing.

Sohail Sadiq, a leading expert from Semalt, provides in the article some practical issues for you to consider.

Bots and Human web visits

In some of the cases above, there may be times when a new website might start receiving a steady flow of traffic from some common domains. In these cases, do not celebrate the victory as this might be from big botnet schemes. 50% of the world web traffic comes from bots. Bots are essential for use on some websites for basic purposes. Bots also help search engine networks and other sites index pages which are meant for optimization techniques like content marketing.

Not all web crawlers are bad. For instance, websites like PayPal and Google depend on bots to execute some of their crucial aspects of their activities. Bots form some of the search engine web crawlers to make significant advancement in the personalization of search results. Useful bots help website creators improve the user experience of many persons using them.

In other instances, people use bots to carry out malicious web attacks on various aspects on the websites. They trick the search engine systems to confuse the website owner on the number of visitors coming to the site. Referrer spam might come in different ways. Some of the various forms which referrer spam occurs are present in this article.

Types of referrer spam

When it comes to describing referrer spam, it is essential to include the kind of referrer spam in the context. In most cases, this kind of spam comes in two ways:

Referrer spam

This may redirect web visits to your websites, but they may not reflect on your site dashboard. Moreover, it affects the Google analytics metrics, a scenario which might interfere with the internet marketing strategies in place.

Ghost referrer spam

This type of spam might involve web visits which may or not reflect on your website dashboard figures. In this case, the domain referring fake web visits tries to fake the information Google Analytics displays.

Referrer spam techniques make use of botnets to make repeated web visits to the server using that particular website. In most cases, the people behind the malicious attacks seek to increase the site ranking on the SERPs of most pages. In other instances, people try to generate revenue from executing these attacks.


Referrer spam is a big problem which can skew your GA in many ways. For instance, increased traffic from referral bots reduces the accuracy of your data as well as the quality of your traffic. The engagement time and rate on your website become low. It is essential to remove referral spam to increase the engagement time of your site.