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I had a website URL which was getting around 60 hits a day from typical spam suspects like buttons-for-websites & ***.semalt, etc, etc. So I decided that when I changed my hosting account I would also change my URL, which I have just recently done.

Thing is, my original URL has been completely offline for well over a week now and when I visited my analytics this morning, there was still a consistent number of hits over the past week from these same sources.

Today I set up an account for my completely new URL and to my surprise, literally within minutes, and before I had even uploaded the website onto the server I was getting visits from these sources again.

This leads me to believe that it is actually the Google Analytics account which is getting hits and not my actual website. Has anyone else found this and if so, are these spammers/bots even a problem at all?

3

This is a common problem with Google Analytics and is called ghost spam/referrer spam.

They only send a request to your Google Analytics key (UA_XXXXXXXXXX), and the bots doesn't hit your website at all. They do this using the Measurement Protocol which allows developers to send raw user interaction data directly to Google Analytics servers.

The only real problem you will experience with this is the fact that it's annoying, and without filtering your analytics it may mess up your results, graphs and metrics.

There are multiple guides on how to hide/remove such spam from Google Analytics, for example this.

  • Cheers Mrtn - Yes they are extremely annoying because just when you think you've blocked them all another one starts showing but I'll try and keep on top of things. My main question now though is, how did they pick up on the Analytics Key so soon after it was set up? I mean we're talking a matter of minutes between my activation and their first hit! – Foot Promoter Jul 8 '15 at 14:10
  • @FootPromoter without being 100 percent certain, I would assume they just randomly try ID's until they get lucky. – Mrtn Jul 8 '15 at 14:33

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