Stop the Ghost Spammers

Have some killer content?

Once published, how would you measure how popular it is? Social media analytics will give you a partial view. However, it’s not going to track all you visitors, including the all important returners who are mostly likely to get in touch.

For that, adding Google’s tracking code to your site will identify your most popular content. From here, you can improve content and increase sales enquiries. However, ‘ghost spammers’ threaten this.

To understand what works, you need to both understand and interpret the data the Google’s tracking code provides, in Google Analytics. Then, to make design and content decisions, based on this, you need to draw accurate conclusions.

Pick the Bones out of that!

For example, in the last 3 months, average time per session on the site may have dropped. This information tells you… very little.

It may mean a drop in engagement due to poor content or design. Alternatively, it could mean an increase in engagement through:

  • increases in ratio of smartphone:desktop views
  • increased visits via promotions of specific events or products

So, baring in mind how hard it is to the right conclusions, the more accurate data you analyse, the more incisive and useful that knowledge is.

Garbage in, Garbage Out

The last thing the web designer/ website data analyst needs is inaccurate data. The most common is ‘Ghost Spammers’. They add ‘dirty data’ to your clean data in Google Analytics.

Ghost Spammers

Check now if you have Ghost Spammers

Go to Google Analytics: ‘Audience’> ‘Technology’> ‘Network’> ‘Hostnames’. Is ‘’ or ‘’ listed? Then Ghost Spammers have been adding dirty data. Using measurement protocol they’ve left fake referrals, keywords and data on pages.

This Won’t Work!

Beware, Ghost Spammers don’t actually visit your site. They don’t even know your website address! So, the following won’t fix it:

  • using server side solutions like WordPress plugins or .htaccess.
  • creating exclude filters for each spammer
  • creating a referral exclusion list

Exorcising Ghost Spammers

To clean your data, you need to be comfortable with editing your settings within Google Analytics.

If you have decided to grasp that nettle and are ready to clean the website traffic data, follow this intro to the excellent step by step guide by

Happy data cleaning!

2017-03-24T00:29:24+00:00 Geeky Tips, Security|