Spam Traffic / Ghost Traffic – Simple Solution: filter your Google Analytics data for “ / referral”

Starting a couple of days ago a small group of friends came to me and complained about some referrals they have in Google Analytics. They know I am a geek in this domain, so it was natural to ask me for help.

The guilty web site, that „sends” traffic to all my friends, is called “ / referral”. At least in Romania, this is the most common spammy site. Well, not spammy in the sense you know. So I tried not to emphasize this in Romania, which has some pure thoughts on Analytics (at least at this time), but this is what my good friend Phil Pearce – a super geek in Analytics & Adwords – is calling this “BlackHat Analytics”. If you really want to know why and learn about that it’s up to you.. (read more on a presentation held by Phil here – 3 presentations probably). I won’t advise you to do that. Keep your data collection and data thoughts sincere and honest.

So this is true, Blackhat Analytics exists, and now you know it! It is about misinforming a competing site and place some ghost traffic info into its reports. You are already scared about this false traffic that you received, that’s why I was called 3-4 times during this last week.

You’ve noticed that, from the 15th of March (at least in .RO it is the case), you have traffic from the “ / referral” site and you’ve tried to figure out what the.. it means, because, usually, when you go there it redirects you, probably with an affiliate code, to some money pages I suppose. So forget about these sites, there’s more of them, as I figured out reading a good article here: Removing Referral Spam from Google Analytics.


If you want to see this traffic naked please do this.

1 = go to “Acquisition”
2 = go to “All Traffic”
3 = select the “Source/Medium” report
4 = on the search field input “simple-share-buttons” and press enter, or press the magnifying glass.
5 = introduce a secondary dimension to this table to see where this traffic comes from by pressing the “secondary dimension” button (see it on the picture above) and write there “Service Provider” which will show on your report the Internet Service Provider related to that specific traffic

You’ll get this, which is not a natural traffic for you.


I will not try to write a geek article, believe me, but these hits have not even passed through your site, it is a fake call of a JavaScript function, an Analytics one, with a parameter that indicates your site, initiated on some other computers. As I tried to dig deeper, it seems to be a Chrome plugin that does that.

But, to keep it short, you’ll have to put a FILTER inside your Google Analytics account in order to ignore this annoying ghost traffic… but it is not a definitive solution, it is a temporary one, because this kind of spam can become more wide spread throughout the Internet and start to use more than the 10 fake sites it uses now.

The solution is described in Ben Travis’ article here: Removing Referral Spam from Google Analytics. Or, try this:

1) Go into admin mode
2) enter the filters area


3) press new filter


4) input a new one (exclude -> referral), based on this regex formula



If you set that filter on your account you’ll be happy, at least for now. But the dark side of the analytics will probably find another ghost /spam / black site to promote.. Always be prepared to read the data from strange referral sites in association with “hostname” or “service provider” as secondary dimensions. In this way you will see the true nature of your traffic (the naked traffic).

Hope now you’ll sleep better tonight!


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Sprijin Congresul National al Studentilor la Comunicare

Congresul National al Studentilor la Comunicare este un eveniment marca PRIME Romania, alcatuit dintr-o serie de conferinte menite sa ofere studentilor informatii esentiale despre Storyscaping, tema din acest an a evenimentului. Conferintele vor fi completate de studii de caz relevante, care vor exemplifica strategiile create si implementate de branduri.

Storyscapingul reprezinta un concept care se bazeaza pe crearea unei povesti de brand si utilizarea ei intr-un marketing de tip 360 grade. Strategia implica crearea unor povesti care sa ii aduca pe consumatori mai aproape de valorile brandului, cu care ei reusesc in acest fel sa interactioneze si sa formeze o relatie pe termen lung.

Aplicarea conceptului de Storyscaping in business este una dintre strategiile eficiente, avand in vedere evolutia comunicarii dintre consumatori si branduri. Prin cunoasterea acestei noi tehnici, oamenii de business vor avea o viziune imbogatita asupra a ceea ce presupune crearea unei campanii de branding si integrarea ei pe mai multe tipuri de platforme, vor avea succes in ceea ce priveste gradul de engagement din partea consumatorului si, nu in ultimul rand, vor putea dezvolta idei noi de promovare prin intermediul celor mai eficiente canale de comunicare, adaptate profilului fiecarui consumator, lucru ce va duce la cresterea vanzarilor si a notorietatii.

Implementarea Storyscapingului in campaniile de markenting are la baza comunicarea de brand si crearea unei povesti impartasite in egala masura de consumator. Din acest punct de vedere, beneficiile cunoasterii acestei noi strategii se reflecta in feedback-ul pe care brandurile il primesc de la consumatori si in crearea unei imagini si a unei personalitati distincte de brand.

Prima conferinta, Storyscaping: lumea de poveste a brandurilor, va avea loc pe 23 aprilie, de la ora 10:00, si le va oferi participantilor oportunitatea de a afla cateva dintre principiile acestui concept. In cadrul acestei conferinte, studentii vor avea ocazia sa afle de la invitati ce presupune acest strategia de Storyscaping, cum a aparut in Romania si ce metode folosesc brandurile pentru crearea unor lumi proprii. De asemenea, tehnicile utilizate, alaturi de trecerea de la the big idea la the organizing idea nu vor lipsa din panelul de discutii.

Cea de-a doua conferinta, Transmedia storytelling: un singur mesaj, platforme multiple, ce va avea loc in aceeasi zi, incepand cu ora 13:30, are menirea de a defini conceptul de transmedia storytelling, de a demonstra importanta implicarii consumatorului in strategia de brand, precum si interactiunea cu acesta. Mai mult decat atat, aceasta conferinta analizeaza impactul pe care il poate avea utilizarea simultana a tuturor canalelor disponibile pentru transmiterea mesajului.

Ziua a doua, 24 aprilie, va incepe cu o conferinta intitulataVisual storyscaping: de la crearea unor reclame la crearea unor povesti, de la ora 10:00, ce surprinde importanta unei conexiuni emotionale in crearea unui vizual, adaptarea mesajului la public, transformarea brandului intr-un lovemark prin Storyscaping, precum si exemple de branduri cu o identitate vizuala de remarcat.

Spre finalul zilei, de la ora 13 :00, in cadrul celei de-a patra conferinte, intitulate Storyscapingul – noua strategie in construirea unui brand de success, se surprind punctual avantajele si dezavantajele acestei strategii, povestea impartasita dintre brand si consumator, efectele asupra unui brand, precum si concluzii si previziuni viitoare ce vizeaza domeniul.

Mai multe informatii despre eveniment si despre inscrieri pot fi gasite site-ul, dar si pe pagina oficiala de Facebook,

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