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In Google Analytics, more than half of my traffic is from referral spam. This has a dramatic impact on my bounce rate -- which many sources claim is strongly tied to search ranking by Google.

I can negate a small amount of this by blocking the requests that actually visit my site -- but these are the minority. A lot (~80%) of the undesired traffic simply sends the necessary JavaScript call to Google to fool their systems.

So my question is: should I care? Does it actually matter outside of messing up my view on Google Analytics (that can be trivially dealt with via filters)?

  • 1
    I am curious. Are any of your referrer spam these?? webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/75909/… If so, here is a bit of background that may be interesting. – closetnoc Feb 6 '15 at 14:39
  • @closetnoc yes! actually, I think I did read that question before asking my own. that list in your answer contains the undesirables. thank you. – TZHX Feb 6 '15 at 15:12
  • These folks you cannot block. They are hacking Google directly. I have pinged someone at G about these twice. But I suspect it would take some time to move the meter within a large company so I do not expect much movement on these. I do know that for some of these, the spam has seemed to stop, though the stats are still in the data. I hope that G is paying attention. – closetnoc Feb 6 '15 at 15:33
  • @closetnoc yeh -- I realised I couldn't block them (since they're not actually getting to my server). my question was really just about whether I should care about it them affecting me in some other way. :) – TZHX Feb 6 '15 at 16:11
  • I do not think so. Google really does not take GA stats and use it for their search engine metrics. This is more of an annoyance. I am not sure what the pay-off would be for this. Normal referral spam makes some sense given two factors: one, it creates back links in web stats automatically posted for some sites; and two, it makes you curious who these people are and might visit just to see. I assume that the second factor would be a pay-off spamming Google directly. Still, this does nothing for a particular site- really. So I really do not see the point in doing this. – closetnoc Feb 6 '15 at 16:28
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No, it does not. Your Google Analytics is not a ranking factor. So garbage referrals, or anything else in your analytics, will not affect your ranking.

  • Thank you! So is all that about Google basing search position on bounce rate bunk then? – TZHX Feb 6 '15 at 14:04
  • There are other ways to determine bounce rate. I don't think bounce rate is anything to note but others disagree. – John Conde Feb 6 '15 at 14:08
  • Thanks again. I can't seem to upvote your answer, but thank you for such a quick response. – TZHX Feb 6 '15 at 14:12

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