Referral spam occurs when someone makes repeated website requests using a fake referral URL to the site the spammer wants to advertise. In the website scan of the spammed website, it looks like the spammer is linking to the website although there is no actual link. Referral spam is done for two reasons:
What is referrer spam
- Websites that publish their access logs, including referral statistics, will inadvertently link to the spammer’s site. These links will be indexed by search engines as they scan access logs, which may have had a positive influence on the ranking of the spammer’s site in the past.
With Google’s Penguin anti-spam France Phone Number algorithm update, these links are highly unlikely to help the spammer’s site today.
- Webmasters who check their stats visit the spammer’s website to find out who is connecting to them. If your website stats show a link to your website but you can’t find the link, then it’s very likely that the “link” is just referral spam and not a real link.
How to Block Referral Spam
You can either block or filter referral spam. If you filter out referral spam in the Google Analytics interface, the spam still exists. For this reason, it’s best to prevent referrer spam before it happens.
To block referrer spam, you need to adjust your website’s .htaccess file. Copy the text from the following box and paste it into your website’s .htaccess file. You will usually find it in the public_html directory of your web server. Warning: modify the .htaccess file of your website at your own risk. Backup the file before modifying it. If you don’t feel comfortable making these changes, ask your webmaster. If you add the above to your .htaccess file, future sessions will not show referrer spam. This will not affect sessions that have already taken place.