Over the past couple weeks you may have noticed an unusual amount of referral traffic in Google Analytics that’s coming from Reddit even though you may not have an account on the social site or post to it. You aren’t the only one! As of late, a Russian referral spammer has begun ruthlessly implementing Black Hat SEO tactics to improve their site’s ranking and drive traffic to their page.
This Russian referrer spammer has been around for awhile, but unfortunately this time they’ve started spamming influential and popular domains, including reddit.com; others include abc.xyz and addons.mozilla.org. This type of spam is also known as ghost referral spam.
Why are they spamming your Google Analytics account? It’s all for their gains, of course. The spammer seeks to get your attention by convincing you to look at the referral URL, thus giving that URL user traffic. Unfortunately this referral spam skews your traffic, making it difficult to determine the genuine referral sites.
However, there are ways to block spam. If you don’t have a Reddit account for your business, don’t post to the site, or have never seen referral traffic from that site before, you can add an Exclusion Filter.
- Open Google Analytics and click on Admin –> Filters
- Click the Add Filter button and create a new exclude filter
- Add Reddit.com as the Filter Name (or another name of a referral site)
- Click the Custom Filter Type
- Under Filter Field, choose Campaign Source. In Filter Pattern, add Reddit.com and then click Save
Again, only use this method to exclude spam from one specific site. For blocking general spam, here’s an alternative way.