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Ghost Referral Traffic from Poland – March 2024 Virus attack

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Referral Traffic from Poland
Referral Traffic from Poland

If you monitor your website traffic regularly, and if you have Google Analytics installed, chances are high that you might have noticed unwanted referral traffic from Poland.

Here, website security comes under the radar and most website owners are worried if that will affect their website negatively, and rightly so. So let’s understand this referral traffic in a bit more detail.

What is this Referral Spam?

What is this Referral Spam?

Google Analytics referral spam implies someone sending data to Google Analytics and creating an illusion of a referral visit to your website. However, there’s no visit. Earlier the referral spam was noticed from some states of the USA, and this time it is Poland, Warshaw, to be precise.

The Purpose of Referral Spam

The Purpose of Referral Spam

The primary purpose of referral spam is to advertise their website cheaply in front of GA users. It’s obvious that the number of GA users is in the millions, which helps website owners considerably to increase their website traffic, without spending much effort.

Plus, they also earn money through ad revenue, malpractices, selling different scams, etc. Hence, the purpose of referral spam; is just to increase the website traffic and revenue without investing much effort.

Impact of Referral Spam on Your Website

Impact of Referral Spam on Your Website

Well, this referral spam traffic on your website won’t affect it negatively by any means but would make it frustrating for you to filter out the spam traffic from the organic traffic. Eventually, organic traffic is what you want on your website and not spam traffic.

How Do You Deal with this Referral Spam?

How Do You Deal with this Referral Spam?

Well, Google Analytics has done a lot of good things for website owners, but filtering out referral spam isn’t one of them. Doing so was so easy with Universal Analytics. The custom filter here made sure that the website owners can identify the spam traffic and hence, prevent it from entering the website.

You might argue that unwanted referral functionality can be used here, but you need to know that it only prevents specific integrations from being included in your referral traffic.

Hence, this functionality won’t entirely resolve the issue like the custom filters in UA did.

So, what’s the solution here? GTM! Just follow the below-listed steps to use GTM to resolve this referral spam issue completely.

  1. Open GTM, and click Variables
  2. Now, click New in the option “User Defined Variables”
  3. Give a variable name
  4. Now click Variable Configuration and then, HTTP referrer
  5. Now, select Host Name
  6. Click Save
  7. Then open Triggers>New
  8. Create a trigger and give it a name. Select the type of trigger based on the type of Gtag event fired
  9. Now add the firing settings,  and enter the domain name using the filter “contains”. Multiple domains can be separated by Regex (|). Save the changes
  10. Now, go to Tags > Google Tags.
  11. Click Triggering > Exceptions > Add Exception
  12. Add your trigger name as an exception and save it.
  13. Now, when the trigger will be fired, the data from the set domain will be effectively blocked

The above steps should do things for you! However, make sure to publish the changes to your tag along with changing the name so you can revert the changes, whenever required.

The best way to avoid any sort of referral traffic on your website is to take early action as soon as you notice it, and it can only be done when you monitor your website traffic continuously.

Our only motive for this article was to spread awareness about the referral spam traffic that has been annoying website owners all over the world. While we all wait for Google to take some action on such activities, make sure to follow the solution explained here to safeguard your website from spam traffic.

Do try the solution and let us know if it works for you, even if we don’t. If it does, well & good, but if it doesn’t work for your website (the probability of it happening is low though!), we will figure out something else. Until, then cheers!

Priyanka Jain
Priyanka Jain
As a seasoned digital marketer with over 8 years of experience, Priyanka embodies the spirit of continuous learning. With a keen eye on emerging trends, she leverages innovative strategies to drive success. An active thought leader, Priyanka thrives on exploring the evolving digital landscape.
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Priyanka Jain
Priyanka Jain
As a seasoned digital marketer with over 8 years of experience, Priyanka embodies the spirit of continuous learning. With a keen eye on emerging trends, she leverages innovative strategies to drive success. An active thought leader, Priyanka thrives on exploring the evolving digital landscape.
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