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I'm developing an ASP.NET MVC site and I'm using Google Universal Analytics to test how to use that. Essentially every page has code that calls the Google Analytics JS function and all that is working fine.

However my application is running entirely on localhost while it is being developed. The only external functionality I'm using is Google Analytics itself.

After loading various pages and clicking buttons etc I'm getting statistics and graphs that claim approx. 30% of my "users" (should only be me) are from Russia, another 10% from the US and the remaining is actually from me, in England.

To further add to it, many of the Russian and US statistics are from different browsers I've never even used let alone tested the application with. Again, the entire thing is running local.

What is going on?

  • Did you check for referral spam ? Anybody can send data to an Google Analytics account without accessing your site, as long as they know the account id (or have brute-force guessed a valid account id). – Eike Pierstorff Jul 20 '15 at 7:58
  • What would the point of them doing that be? – user9993 Jul 20 '15 at 8:56
  • Spamming you? At least some of them run ads on the fake referral pages, so they might hope that you check out the strange referrers and they make money on advertising. All in all it does not matter why somebody would do this - referral spam has become a big nuisance over the last year (just google the phrase). – Eike Pierstorff Jul 20 '15 at 9:05
  • Have you also checked your raw visitor log files to verify that you actually haven't received these clicks? – FarhadD Jul 20 '15 at 11:04
  • You should read this: webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/75909/… – closetnoc Jul 20 '15 at 13:44
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You may also want to checkout it this post www.analyticsedge.com/2014/12/removing-referral-spam-google-analytics/

Adding these filters and segments can help you effectively filter out spam traffic.

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I would tend to agree that this sounds like referral spam. One way to check this would be to look at the hostname report. In Google Analytics, click on Audience -> Technology -> Network and change the primary dimension to "Hostname" (primary dimension is under the graph and above the table). In there, you should see localhost for your traffic and then the others from the spam.

It is a pain, but it is relatively easy to get rid of. Here is an article on filtering this out by creating a new view. https://megalytic.com/blog/how-to-filter-out-fake-referrals-and-other-google-analytics-spam

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