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Google Removes Referral SPAM

Posted on 3.13.2016

How much traffic does your website really receive? If you're a victim of referral spam, then it is likely less than you think.

Referral spam gains traffic by hoping that site owners will click through on those referral sites in order to see what it was that brought visitors to the site. While no links – or real traffic – actually came from these sites, they could still receive traffic from webmasters who checked.


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Referral spam has been a problem for as many years as I've been working on the Web (more than 15 years). While there are some workarounds available that can be used to clear an analytics account from referral spam traffic, Google has recently released a solution to the problem for Google Analytics users.

Google announced last year that it was working on a problem and as it stands as of late February and early March, the issue seems to be resolved (although it's not retroactive).

While no information has been made available by Google about the removal of referral spam, website operators should now be able to analyze their performance without referral spam skewing the data (although it is possible that a slight traffic drop might be apparent).

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