On Top Visibility Creating Protocols to Handle Google Analytics Spamming

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Web marketing and search engine optimization company helping clients to navigate growing spam issue with Google Analytics.

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As an SEO team, it’s our job to make sure [our clients’] Google Analytics reporting is true and without any spam

On Top Visibility has begun tracking spam activity on its clients’ websites as a major wave of illegitimate activity has started to affect Google Analytics, the tool that website owners can use to track site visits and other crucial information. In a June 4, 2015 article, Search Engine Roundtable notes the numerous complaints Google has received on their Analytics Help forum.

“The spamming isn’t hurting anything -- sites are not being compromised -- but it’s muddling the analytics,” explained Scot Trollan, On Top Visibility’s web development manager. “It doesn’t affect our clients’ [search engine] rankings, but it’s very annoying for them.”

Currently, spammers seem to be making use of a vulnerability in Google Analytics that allows them to ping it and make it appear as if they’ve visited a website. This then leads to spam or ghost referrals, which the spammers use to try to drive traffic to their own websites.

And although Google is aware of the issue and implemented a better filter earlier in the spring, Trollan said it’ll be an “uphill battle” to get the issue completely cleared up, and that the problem seems to have actually gotten worse recently.

“Just within the last two months it has gotten really out of hand, which is when we started taking serious action,” Trollan said. “For some of our clients, if they had 1,000 viewers, 400 would be spam and 600 would be real.”

Ultimately, it will be up to Google to add more thorough filters and a good way to report spam referrals. But in the meantime, On Top Visibility is working to identify spammers by scrutinizing domain names and red flagging those that don’t pertain to the industry. The company is adding new names to its growing list of suspected scammers every day, and providing weekly screenings for each client’s Google Analytics account.

“As an SEO team, it’s our job to make sure [our clients’] Google Analytics reporting is true and without any spam,” Trollan concluded.

About On Top Visibility

On Top Visibility is a web design and marketing company with 15 years of industry experience. Specializing in increasing visibility for local business, On Top Visibility can assist with SEO, user-friendly web design, analytic reports, social media marketing and more. Visit them at http://www.ontopvisibility.com

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Scot Trollan