The Ultimate Analytics Referral Spam List – Contribute Yours!

*Click here to go straight to the Ultimate Referral Spam list or add yours to the list by completing the form below:

Google Analytics is the most used tracking tool in the world. It’s used on almost half of the top 1,000,000 websites (as currently ranked by Alexa).

As a Digital Marketer or webmaster, it can be incredibly frustrating to open your Google Analytics reports and see huge increases in traffic to your site only to have to put the champagne on ice after you’ve dug a little deeper.

Realising that a load of the new referral traffic you have been receiving has come from spam bots and not in fact genuine sites linking to you is both heart breaking and incredibly frustrating!

What is referral spam/ referrer spam/ ghost referrals?

Referral spam is the fake referral traffic that you get from ‘bots’ that crawl your website and perform a variety of repetitive tasks for a multitude of malicious reasons.

Not all bots out there are bad, take Google’s very own ‘Googlebot’ for example. Googlebot crawls the web to index websites and pages so they can accurately present them in their search engine results pages (SERPs).

block referral spam

Google’s Googlebot is good. It even has flowers.

However, you are going to want to stop the not-so-friendly bots from crawling your site and appearing in your Analytics data.

Not sure which ones I mean? Well I’ll come onto how you can spot the spammy sites that you need to block soon, but as a starter for 10, if you recognise any of these then I have bad news for you:

  • semalt.com
  • buttons-for-website.com
  • darodar.com

But do not fear, the majority of websites today are receiving referral spam on a regular basis and it’s a trend that has increased rapidly over the last couple of years. In fact, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst, John Mueller, has admitted that Google know all about referral spam but have yet figured out a working solution!

Why is referral spam dangerous?

The initial frustration you may have with referral spam is that it skews your, otherwise mostly reliable, Google Analytics data making any conclusions you take from the tracking software redundant.

Metrics based on sessions such as bounce rate and conversion rate will be hit and gleaning any valuable information becomes tricky. Although some of the less complex bots that crawl your site won’t affect your GA stats, they can still negatively impact on site performance.

Why do people program referral spam bots to do these things!?

I know right. Where has the humanity gone? Well, there are a variety of reasons they do it, and here’s just a few:

  • Boosting traffic stats – Advertisers will pay more money to sites that have a large number of regular visitors. These crawler programs can falsely inflate these numbers.
  • Click fraud – when a person or program clicks a PPC ad with the sole attention of wasting the advertiser’s budget rather than purchasing the advertised product or service.
  • Harvesting emails – to then sell on to 3rd parties for bulk email campaigns.
  • Scraping web content – to repurpose or feign as their own content.
  • Spreading viruses – many of the sites that appear in your reports are loaded with malware and when you unwittingly visit them your device will get infected.
  • Lead generation – unbelievably, some companies do it for lead generation although why anyone would purchase from such an unethical business is beyond me!

 

Help me! How can I stop referral spam?

Well, as I mentioned earlier, there is no definitive solution to referral spam but there are effective workarounds. Whilst Google themselves tell you to use the ‘Referral Exclusion List’ to block the spam, this is not the ideal technique; and here’s why:

Using the Referral Exclusion List to attempt to block spammy websites coming up as referrals in your Google Analytics reports is dangerous as it merely records the traffic as direct rather than excluding it completely.

What we and many other reputable sources recommend is using ‘custom filters’. Here’s how:

1. Head over to Google Analytics and sort your ‘Referral Traffic’ by ‘Bounce Rate’. It’s fairly safe to assume that any site that has 0% or 100% bounce rate, with at least 15-20 sessions, is spam.

2. If you’re unsure then check it against our ‘Ultimate Referral List’ at the bottom of this page.

3. Can’t find it in our list?, consider searching the site in a search engine to see what other people are saying about it. Remember to be incredibly cautious when choosing whether or not to visit the site as we already know that a lot of these sites are harmful.

4. If you’re sure it’s spam and we don’t have it in our list then you can submit it to us here: Submit your referral spam domain

5. Now you have your final list, block them with ‘custom filters’

spam referral list

When you’ve selected the account you desire, click the ‘Admin’ tab

domains spam referral

Select ‘All Filters’

ghost referral spam list

Click the big red ‘+ Add Filter’ button

spam referrers list

Enter the spammy URL’s as you see them entered in this example, select ‘All Website Data’ from the ‘Available Views’ box and click ‘Save’.

Bear in mind that there’s a 255 character limit for each filter so you will only manage to get 10 or so spam domains in each one. Although it can be time consuming to keep adding to your
filters, this currently the best fix and is definitely worth doing.

Make sure you add any new spam sites or those that we missed to the list below so we can help quell the referral spam problem that is plaguing us all!

Enjoy.

The Current 128 Domain Strong Referral Spam List

traffic2money.com
floating-share-buttons.com
get-free-social-traffic.com
site4.free-floating-buttons.com
4webmasters.org
site10.free-floating-buttons.com
free-social-buttons.com
site3.free-floating-buttons.com
www.event-tracking.com
success-seo.com
seo-platform.com
site2.free-floating-buttons.com
chinese-amezon.com
hongfanji.com
site8.free-floating-buttons.com
site9.free-floating-buttons.com
video–production.com
www.Get-Free-Traffic-Now.com
buttons-for-website.com
qualitymarketzone.com
site5.free-floating-buttons.co
videos-for-your-business.com
how-to-earn-quick-money.com
forum.topic63020490.darodar.com
7makemoneyonline.com
acads.net
anal-acrobats.hol.es
anticrawler.org
best-seo-offer.com
best-seo-solution.com
bestwebsitesawards.comblackhatworth.com
brakehawk.com
buttons-for-your-website.com
buy-cheap-online.info
darodar.com
econom.co
event-tracking.com
forum20.smailik.org
forum69.info
free-share-buttons.com
googlsucks.com
guardlink.org
hulfingtonpost.com
humanorightswatch.org
ilovevitaly.com
iminent.com
kabbalah-red-bracelets.com
kambasoft.com
makemoneyonline.com
masterseek.com
o-o-6-o-o.com
ok.ru
pornhub-forum.ga
pornhub-forum.uni.me
priceg.com
ranksonic.info
ranksonic.org
rapidgator-porn.ga
savetubevideo.com
semalt.com
sexyteens.hol.es
simple-share-buttons.com
social-buttons.com
theguardlan.com
webmaster-traffic.com
youporn-forum.ga
youporn-forum.uni.me
ilovevitaly.co
myftpupload.com
iskalko.ru
ilovevitaly.ru
o-o-8-o-o.ru
o-o-6-o-o.ru
cenoval.ru
cenokos.ru
seoexperimenty.ru
gobongo.info
vodkoved.ru
adcash.com
websocial.me
cityadspix.com
luxup.ru
ykecwqlixx.ru
superiends.org
slftsdybbg.ru
edakgfvwql.ru
socialseet.ru
screentoolkit.com
blackhatworth.com
prlog.ru
bestwebsitesawards.com
forum.smailik.org
aliexpress.com
Get-Free-Traffic-Now.com
semalt.semalt.com
iloveitaly.ro
prodvigator.ua
resellerclub.com
adviceforum.info
europages.com.ru
lomb.co
lumb.co
54.186.60.77
srecorder.com
see-your-website-here.com
76brighton.co.uk
paparazzistudios.com.au
powitania.pl
sharebutton.net
tasteidea.com
descargar-musica-gratis.net
torontoplumbinggroup.com
100dollars-seo.com
semaltmedia.com
rankings-analytics.com
free-floating-buttons.com
rednise.com
erot.co
generalporn.org
trafficmonetize.org
trafficmonetizer.org
domination.ml
torture.ml
depositfiles-porn.ga
pornhubforum.yk
pops.foundation
justprofit.xyz
best-seo-software.xyz

 

(Featured image: Horia Varlan via Flickr)

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This post was written by George Bates

This post was written by George Bates

Digital Marketing Executive

George brings experience to the team from a background in SEO and content writing. Currently sailing through Adwords exams to become a more rounded digital marketer.

More Posts From George
2 Comments
  • SayStopToSpam
    Posted at 10:22h, 04 February Reply

    Hi,

    Feel free to use your free Google Analytics segment to block all referral spam from your reports:
    https://www.saystoptospam.org/

    If you like it, please share it ;)

    Thanks

  • Emi
    Posted at 11:46h, 31 March Reply

    Hi George ,

    Last week I noticed that I’m getting most of the traffic from one referral spammer I was worried as it was killing my analytics of blog so since then i have been looking for information. I have included spammer site I ‘m confused either to include or exclude site in this filter. please do reply

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