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We have seen a large increase in "spam" visitors from sites such as the below. Which is impacting our analytics and while I know we can block it from reporting, we are concerned it will affect our rankings and its also hitting our bandwidth. While I am aware we can add these sites individually to htaccess and deny, I am trying to ascertain why A) we are a target and B) if/how we can combat it with a more universal solution than adding sites manually to htaccess.

Any recommendations/experience with this gratefully received.

Site examples:

social-buttons.com / referral
site16.social-buttons.com / referral    
semalt.semalt.com / referral
best-seo-solution.com / referral
forum.topic48683315.darodar.com / referral
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Generally this things are referal spam trying to get clicks from appearing in your analytics. From what I know you can do few things:

  • Filter these from Google Analytics/Piwik/any other tool you are using -> filters, Filter type: unstandard, exclude filter field referal:
.*((darodar|priceg|semalt|buttons\-for\-website|makemoneyonline|blackhatworth|hulfingtonpost|bestwebsitesawards|o\-o\-6\-o\-o|(social|simple\-share)\-buttons)\.com)|(econom\.co)|(ilovevitaly(\.co(m)?))|(ilovevitaly(\.ru))|(humanorightswatch(\.org)).*
  • Add this to your .htaccess file (if mod_rewrite is enabled and you can ovverride settings with .htaccess file - hosting provider depending if you can.

    RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://.*ilovevitaly.com/ [NC,OR]
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://.*ilovevitaly..ru/ [NC,OR]
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://.*ilovevitaly.org/ [NC,OR]
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://.*ilovevitaly.info/ [NC,OR]
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://.*iloveitaly.ru/ [NC,OR]
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://.*econom.co/ [NC,OR]
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://.*savetubevideo.com/ [NC,OR]
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://.*kambasoft.com/ [NC,OR]
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://.*buttons-for-website.com/ [NC,OR]
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://.*semalt.com/ [NC,OR]
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://.*darodar.com/ [NC]
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://.*simple-share-buttons.com.com/ [NC]

As I can see it's a tilting at windmills. Once you block one domain another will come up sooner or later. More info in a great article about this: http://viget.com/advance/removing-referral-spam-from-google-analytics

Here's also worth mentioning most popular black list that you can use instead of mine code in second point (I think it's updated so I'll not paste code from that file): http://perishablepress.com/blacklist/ultimate-referrer-blacklist.txt

Edit: Some new ghost referals are coming up so update's required of any filters that you use.

Generally because of so much spam bots/referal ghosts/etc. it's easier to allow "good" traffic come in instead of blocking "bad" traffic from coming in.

I recommend to follow these guides as they were really helpfull to me in past few days: http://www.analyticsedge.com/2014/12/removing-referral-spam-google-analytics/ http://www.analyticsedge.com/2015/01/advanced-segment-eliminate-spam-referrals/

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