A New Mutation Of Referral Spam You Will Love to Hate

Jan 7, 2016

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Well that didn’t take long did it?

It seems like just the other day we were putting the final touches on our definitive guide to stopping ghost and referral spam with the Loganix Referral Ghost Spam Removal Analytics Segment.

And while the guide is still ultra-relevant and helpful, it’s time to make a noteworthy update. We’ve come across an interesting new mutation of this kind of spam in Google Analytics, and chances are, you’ve seen it too.

A New Challenger Approaches: Phantom Pages

As we’ve stated previously on our blog many times, what’s really concerning about referral spam is the relative ease and velocity at which rogue programmers can make this scum spread at scale. We walked you through it here.

Way back when (last year), the blogosphere and internet hangouts collectively moaned in frustration as a single shady marketing junta, consistently found itself into important analytics data and reports.

Like a mosquito in the jungle that somehow kept finding its way through your seemingly impermeable net, it just couldn’t be stopped.

Others noticed, and followed suit.

And now we’re seeing this corrupted and fake data leaking into other areas of the Analytics reports:


Instead of simply “targeting” your homepage and showing up in referral reports, the spam is now showing hits to pages that don’t even exist on your site.

This time, to gain demand your attention, they stuff their URL into “phantom” pages that don’t exist.

In Response, We’ve Stepped Up Our Game

Remember, the main reason referral spam removal tools are no longer effective is that their segments are not updated, and they don’t catch new spammers.

We are determined to not let that happen.

So, our programming team here at Loganix, dug in and put the good guys back on top.

By expanding our custom analytics segment to now also filter spam based on page, and not just on referral path & source, we can also be sure that URL stuffing does not show up in reports.


Your Move Google

From everything that we can see, this style of spam is accelerating. More and more are doing it, and it’s becoming harder to block.

At some point, many reports will be so flooded with spam that Google faces a real problem of users abandoning its service for third party analytics tools. Clicky, if you’re listening…

We hope this means that Google will lend us a hand keeping our reports clean. But until then, we’re happy to lead the charge.

If you haven’t cleaned your analytics account yet, download our referral spam segment.

Hand off the toughest tasks in SEO, PPC, and content without compromising quality

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