Block Referral Spam Traffic

Block Referral Spam

For those of you who use Google Analytics, or just about any other website analytics tools, you may have noticed the sudden jump in referral spam showing up on your site. Whether it’s flooding your referral data or you’re seeing a spam showing up in your event tracking, it’s equally frustrating to see this junk ruining your data.

There are ways to ignore and scrub this out of your metrics by using Google Analytics filters however this only masks the problem and doesn’t solve the other major issue, which is the fact that the referral spam is sucking up bandwidth that is impacting your site experience, and filling your error logs with failed brute force attacks.

Dealing With Referral Spam

One of the best ways I’ve found to handle this is to update your website .htaccess file to block any and all traffic from specific referral sites.  By using a simple method found in Javascriptkit.com which shows you how to block domains from referring traffic to your site, you can easily stop the rediculous referral traffic which saves site bandwidth and cleans your data.  There are other methods, like the WordPress Smeault traffic blocker, but this only focuses on one domain and doesn’t cover the dozens of other domains that are being used to fill your data with junk.  Editing your .htaccess file can be scary but as long as you store a backup of the file you can always revert.  First you’re going to need an FTP client to access your site.  I recommend using Filezilla.  It’s free and works great, other than that what else do you need to know?

Here is a list of common sites that are pushing referral spam. All you need to do is edit your .htaccess file and add the following lines:
## Sites to ban
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} semalt\.com [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} buttons-for-website\.com [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} floating-share-buttons\.com [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} webmonetizer\.net [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} trafficmonetizer\.org [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} event-tracking\.com [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} site3.floating-share-buttons\.com [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} free-social-buttons\.com [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} success-seo\.com [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} videos-for-your-business\.com [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} Get-Free-Traffic-Now\.com [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} 100dollars-seo\.com [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} semaltmedia\.com [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} seoanalyses.com [NC]
RewriteRule .* - [F]

You can easily add additional sites as needed in the list using the same format. Thats it, it’s really not that hard to implement and the bad traffic will stop immidiatly.  You may need to update the list from time to time as new pages pop up but thats it!

Resources:

Javascriptkit: http://www.javascriptkit.com/howto/htaccess14.shtml

Filezilla: https://filezilla-project.org/

 

Leave a Reply