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Semalt: How To Remove Referral Spam? Easy Tips

Spam referral traffic has become an everyday encounter for most internet users. Getting rid of this kind of traffic is essential for every website owner or SEO agency operator. The Google Analytics tool has numerous ways of removing referrer spam from your GA referrals report. Spam traffic was an old concept of black hat search enginetechniques. Individuals would use this method to lie to their clients on making their websites rank fast. Moreover, it could result in false ad impressions, causing massive losses on their unsuspecting clients. Understanding referral spam is essential for everyone doing e-commerce.

Nik Chaykovskiy, the Senior Customer Success Manager of Semalt, elaborates here on some practical issues in this regard.

Understanding referral traffic

Referrer traffic is the visitors who click links to your site from other websites. When websites link to your site, there is a direct domain linkage, which can lead to a steady flow of visitors. For instance, one can click a link to your website from a domain like National Geographic’s Website. Your domain info would be on the Nat Geo’s site because you have become a Nat Geo referee.

What is referral spam

Referral spam is traffic which is coming from domains which may or not be linking to your website. Some of the tactics may involve real legitimate visits from actual people. In other instances, referrer spam tries to trick your GA tracking code into recording a page visit which is false. In both cases, your GA counts page visits which may or not necessarily be reflecting as part of your visitors. In many instances, referrer spam can occur as ghost referrals or even crawler referrals:

  • Crawler referrals: They are mainly bots. Traffic which is originating from bots if also not legit. They come to your website during legitimate traffic sessions.
  • Ghost referrals: These do not visit your website. However, they manage to trick your Google Analytics into registering a fake visit.

Removing referrer spam

Every webmaster needs essential tools to deal with traffic which is not coming from real clients. For instance, some of the tools which webmasters use to perform backlinking services can help persons remove referrer spam. For example, you can activate some of these in the admin settings tab.

In the admin tab, you can be able to activate bot filtering services. There is spam data as well as spiders which tend to crawl a website for various reasons. Creating custom bot filters can help to keep away some of these traffic sources which may not be legitimately valid. Some domains like Semalt have a known history of throwing spam attacks.

It is essential to use an email provider which is secure email providers can filter some referral traffic from websites. They can make the entire browsing session safe as well as protecting your clients from possible spam attacks.


Referrer spam is a big problem facing a majority of the internet users. Some of the black hat SEO agencies tend to employ referral spam tactics to provide their quick results. This traffic does not have a basis for its applicability. You can face some penalties when you try to rank using spam traffic. This guideline can help you avoid referral traffic.

Semalt Expert Knows How To Block Referral Spam In Google Analytics

Referral spam annoys everyone, especially a person running an e-commerce website. When looking at your Google Analytics website data, you can witness cases of referral spam coming to your site. It is difficult to estimate and evaluate the actual performance of your internet marketing efforts.

Most of the guidelines about removing referrer spam do not seem to work. In many cases, people invest funds in black hat SEO agents who end up giving the people traffic from referral spam or bots. There are methods which can help you remove referrer spam traffic from your Google Analytics.

Some of the techniques to deal with the spam are defined here by Andrew Dyhan, the Customer Success Manager of Semalt.

What is referral spam

Referral spam is the traffic which comes to your website from other domains. In most cases, any backlinking gives referral spam data to the user. Some of the domains which contain fake web visits are from bots or networks of bots. Referral spam can occur in two ways:

Ghost visits

This referral spam shows up on your Google Analytics page. Similarly, the fake web visits may show up in your analytics data but not on your website dashboard. These anonymous page visits form the ghost page visits.


Some domains may contain traffic bots. Getting web visits from bots can lead to a website getting numerous page visits from non-human sources. Botnets and web crawlers can lead to multiple adverse effects on website information.

In both cases, referrer traffic leads to false information on the progress of the marketing campaign. Furthermore, numerous ghost page visits coming from referral spam make the SEO process challenging to monitor and adjust towards your common goal.

Removing referrer spam

Persons can remove this traffic from their Google Analytics following some simple steps. One of the most effective methods of performing this task is by placing a .htaccess file in the root directory of your domain. This file directs crawlers on the appropriate way to handle your server requests. People using an Apache server can run some commands to make that adjustment. Controlling this process with care is essential. Pulling down the entire website is very easy while running codes.

Advanced spam filters can help in removing referrer spam. In a Google Analytics account, you can use this feature in the admin menu. Moreover, you can be able to add custom filters to the tool. These filters can block traffic coming from a particular domain. It is also possible to prevent traffic using IP address. A secure email service provider can help in the detection of some of the spam attacks targeting user email accounts.


Referral spam can reduce the accuracy of the information on your Google Analytics account. It is essential to remove referral spam traffic as these fake results can lead to resource wastage. Furthermore, this traffic causes people to make wrong decisions regarding the way the internet marketing campaign operates. It is essential for every company or business to deal with referral spam. Some of the ideas which you can use to eliminate referral spam are in this guideline.

How To Stop Chinese Spam From Flooding Your iPhone? Answer From Semalt

You probably know the significance of using strong passwords and activating the two-factor authentication (2FA) on your Apple devices. Hundreds to thousands of useless Chinese spam messages are sent to and from the iPhone devices. The hijacked iMessage account might fill your iPad, iPhone, Mac or other similar devices with lots of junk and gobbledygook easier than you can imagine. Technically speaking, that’s not a hack but is a sign that someone has guessed your password and is using your device for his stupid activities.

Andrew Dyhan, a top expert from Semalt, has tailored practicals issues that will help you stay safe from such attacks.

A large number of users have fallen prey to such schemes. An England-based security company Sophos published a post on the Naked Security blog, where it shared the experiences of different iPhone users. One of the users said that his iPhone was used illegally to send fake Chinese messages to all of his friends and family members. No report of the data breach has ever been reported, and there is no way to extract a person’s password from his iOS devices. In such circumstances, it may not be possible for anyone to say what’s going on, but Apple Inc. has started John Munn from Belfast summed up the problem, claiming that Android users are complaining about the issue for years. Lots of iPhone passwords are guessed, and accounts are hacked every day. John was not the only victim as Sophos investigated the matter and found that Apple had not received complains about its investigation and has already fixed many issues.

How do the attacks work?

First of all, users get a message saying that their Apple IDs have been accessed from unknown locations or devices. If you receive such notifications on your computer, there is nothing you can do. But if you receive such a message on your mobile phone, you should click on the OK button. Either way, once the initial message is received, the deluge will begin. A large number of devices are spammed on a daily basis. Users also complain about emojis and texts from suspicious sources, and those messages are written entirely in the Chinese language.

The same types of messages are sent to thousands of people from infected accounts. If you translate those messages, they might refer you to a casino or nightclub in Macau. There are chances that the hackers want to steal your information by using the names of famous casinos, but such activities will lead to nonstop barrages of spam. If it says “more information,” that means the attackers have accessed your password or have picked your data up to breach some rules online. Apple claims that it is not possible to access a user’s iMessage account, but the hackers often trick the users and redirect them to unprecedented amounts of garbage. Chances are the user had compromised their passwords in some data breach, such as LinkedIn and Yahoo. They might have used the same password for different accounts, letting the hackers match different email IDs with the same password. In conclusion, you should use strong passwords that might not be guessed by the hackers. You should update your passwords frequently and keep the 2FA activated. If you have some concerns about the security of your account, you should check Apple’s recommendations.