As the owner or VP of Business Development of a small manufacturing firm, you most likely look at your Google Analytics reports to determine if your website is “working” — that is, if you’re getting traffic to it and if that traffic increasing over time.
One thing that may be skewing your traffic reports in the worst way, however, is referral spam. What is referral spam? It’s fake traffic, or what some people call ghost traffic, that comes to your website in the guise of referral links from websites. Sometimes the website is legitimate; most often, it’s not. The goal of referral spam is to get you to click the links that appear in your Analytics reports.
It’s been a real problem for websites of all types for over a year now. So while it make look as if your traffic is increasing, it’s really not — because it’s fake traffic.
In my latest piece for Search Engine Land, Small business owners: 3 steps to creating accurate Google Analytics reports, I explain the easy fix to this problem — and how 15 minutes of your time can add accuracy back to your Analytics reports.
This is so annoying! I only just recently discovered it, too.
It really helps to create a filtered view in Analytics and turn on bot filtering.