What is Ghost Spam?

What is Ghost Spam?

If you’re in charge of your company’s Google Analytics reports, then you may or may not have heard about ghost spam. If you’ve heard of it, and are currently battling it – we salute you.

Ghost spam hijacks your Google Analytics ID and plops a fake visit in your analytics report. These visits don’t interact with your site at all, however, they bypass your site by requests of HTTP/HTTPS interactions to Google’s servers saying they did. This is why it’s called “Ghost Spam.”

Where Can It Be Found?

Ghost spam typically presents itself as “referral spam” which can be found in the “Referrals” section in Google Analytics:

Why Does Ghost Spam Exist?

Spammers try to target analytics managers through their reports to either get an Analytic Admin’s attention for a specific service, spread or malicious code. If you’re trying to figure out what a suspicious URL is, you may be tempted to click on it. Once that happens, a spammer could be receiving a commission. That’s probably the last thing we want to do. Instead, perform a search for that URL or phrase. More than likely someone has already written about it.

You also don’t want to infect your computer if that link has malicious code. If you insist on clicking the link, I suggest you double-check that your antivirus program is updated and running.

Get Rid of the Spam

Thankfully you can clean up your analytics through filtering. Below are some useful instructions:

How To Quickly Exclude Internal Visits & Spam Traffic In Google Analytics 4
How to Filter Spam Data From Your GA4 Reports

Remember that bad data = bad decisions. We recommend using one of the guides above to help you clean house! If you need help, fill out our contact form or give us a call at (915) 351-8440.

Original Post December 1, 2016, updated 3/27/24


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