How to Remove Referral Spam from Google Analytics

Referral spam is a fake incoming traffic created by spambots which is identified by Google Analytics as a live traffic from other sites.

To get rid of referral spam, please, follow the instructions:

  1. Open the Google Analytics spam report, and sort the data by bounce rate in descending order.
  2. Select sites with bounce rate of 100% and 0%, and the number of visits of 10 – these sites are likely spambots.
  3. Check if the selected referrals are listed here; if so, you have an undeniable proof they are spambots.
  4. If the suspicious site is not found in the list, then it is likely real. If necessary, this can be checked by visiting its page. But note you should take such a risk only if you are sure that both website and computer are protected with a reliable antivirus.
  5. Once you have identified a list of referral bots, block them from visiting your site.
  6. Block spam IPs in .htaccess file. Do not try to block all malicious IP addresses, as this can overload your .htaccess file and have bad influence on the server performance. Block just those that attacked your site. If your spambot list is constantly increasing, your website is probably poorly protected.

Remember: removing bots from referral sources makes no sense. Fetching data about visits of bots from referral traffic report, GA moves them to the direct traffic report, and it will be impossible to get rid of this traffic after that.