How To: Filtering Referral Spam from Google Analytics

Today’s video features a quick way to filter referral website spam which appears in Google Analytics reports.

Problems caused by spammy referral traffic (fake traffic)

  • Inflated Session stats
  • Bounce rates inflated
  • Pageviews/session inflated
  • Unrealistic view of traffic

How to filter fake referrals in Google Analytics

  1. Identify similarities in spammy referrals
  2. Create a Spam Filter segment
  3. Test

Google Analytics Spam

Here’s what Google Analytics spammy referrals look like.

Google analytics spam filter


Screenshot of Google Analytics Segment

Here’s what we used to filter spammy referrals in Google Analytics, customize as needed for your website(s).

analytics filter screenshot

Comment below with questions and comments on how to improve this. Enjoy! Learn more about Google Analytics on

2018-01-08T11:18:02+00:00 Web Analytics|

About the Author:

My name is Rick and I've enjoyed building websites and doing digital marketing (as a profession) since 2002. My background is mostly in search, social and email marketing. I specialize in data driven marketing and marketing automation on small and large scale. Reach out anytime!


  1. Dawn Bell July 6, 2016 at 9:02 pm - Reply

    really helpful. Still can’t seem to eliminate a few though.,, ones ending in RU. Even though i have set the segment rules. are there other ways to eliminate these?

    • Rick Maggio July 7, 2016 at 8:10 pm - Reply

      Are they coming across as “referrals”? If so, you’d just need to set a filter for “referrer” “contains” “free” or similar.

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