Spam Traffic from Social-Share-Buttons, Floating-Share-Buttons, Social-Buttons and more.
If you pay close attention to your Google Analytics you’ve probably noticed that you referral traffic looks impressive. If you take a closer look you’ll notice referring websites such as those mentioned above. This is all considered spam traffic, these are not real visitors to your website. These sites generate bots that visited your website and left fake visits in your Google Analytics.
Why Would They Go Through All The Trouble?
Just like any other spammer, they all have one common goal. Get you to pay attention. While not all spammers have bad intentions, you still want to be leery of where you are clicking. Unlike email spam that install malware when clicking on certain links, the intention of these referral spam visits is to get you to use their product. If you visit any of these spam sites you’ll notice that they either sell a service or provide a free one that they would like you to use. The majority of these are a nuisance versus malicious.
Do you need to block them?
Really this is up to you. If you or someone you know doesn’t spend a considerable amount of time analyzing analytics, then no. If you do, you should filter these sites. They will skew your analytic data making it harder to identify what is working and what isn’t.
Blocking Spam Traffic
Dealing with pesky spammers is annoying and Google is aware of the issue and making adjustments to curb the issue. While Google continues to work on this, you can do a few things yourself. You may have read that you can block these visits by using .htaccess, this is not true. .htaccess doesn’t eliminate ghost visits. The best way to block this type of spam is through Google Analytics. GA provides you access to create filters, these are often used to block website traffic from the business so you’re not skewing your own visitor data. In the filter section, you can filter out who is registering spam traffic. This does take time as new spam traffic will appear but if you look at your referring traffic and create filters based on what you see, you can eliminate the spam traffic resulting in true website visitor data.