Ridiculas amounts of ghost traffic... I'm baffled.

13 replies
Hey guys, happy holidays.

I've built and sold many sites before with no sign of any ghost traffic about 1 year ago.

Ive currently started up a couple new sites and have notice ridiculous amounts of ghost traffic on my analytics and an unusual difficulty with ranking in Google.

Is this a new thing? Anyone else experienceing this?

Could it possibly be a virus embeded into my WordPress theme? I am now suspecting this.

Cheers
#amounts #baffled #ghost #ridiculas #traffic
  • Profile picture of the author AlejandroL
    This traffic is probably generated from spambots

    These spam bots crawl hundreds and thousands of websites every day and send out HTTP requests to the websites with fake referrer header. They create and send fake referrer headers to avoid being detected as bots.

    The fake referrer header contains the website URL which spammer wants to promote and/or build back links.

    When your website receive an HTTP request from a spam bot with fake referrer header, it is immediately recorded in your server log. If your server log is publicly accessible i.e. it can be crawled and indexed by Google, then Google treat the referrer value in your server log as a backlink thus influencing the search engine ranking of the website being promoted by spammers.
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    • Profile picture of the author webmonopoly
      Originally Posted by AlejandroL View Post

      This traffic is probably generated from spambots

      These spam bots crawl hundreds and thousands of websites every day and send out HTTP requests to the websites with fake referrer header. They create and send fake referrer headers to avoid being detected as bots.

      The fake referrer header contains the website URL which spammer wants to promote and/or build back links.

      When your website receive an HTTP request from a spam bot with fake referrer header, it is immediately recorded in your server log. If your server log is publicly accessible i.e. it can be crawled and indexed by Google, then Google treat the referrer value in your server log as a backlink thus influencing the search engine ranking of the website being promoted by spammers.
      Thanks for the response.

      So what I gather is this ghost traffic strictly comes from outside, and cannot be a result of a virus or some type of embeded code in a WordPress theme?

      Just wondering because I never used to see the volume of ghost traffic I see now.

      I'm even filtering them in my Google analytics but new ones find me shortly after.
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    • Profile picture of the author webproishere
      Originally Posted by AlejandroL View Post

      This traffic is probably generated from spambots

      These spam bots crawl hundreds and thousands of websites every day and send out HTTP requests to the websites with fake referrer header. They create and send fake referrer headers to avoid being detected as bots.

      The fake referrer header contains the website URL which spammer wants to promote and/or build back links.

      When your website receive an HTTP request from a spam bot with fake referrer header, it is immediately recorded in your server log. If your server log is publicly accessible i.e. it can be crawled and indexed by Google, then Google treat the referrer value in your server log as a backlink thus influencing the search engine ranking of the website being promoted by spammers.


      Couldn't said it better!
      Exactly what it is guys...
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  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    I get tons of ghost (no specific referrer) traffic from Facebook.

    As long as the traffic converts, I won't be complaining.
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    I see the same think as well and it is mostly referrer spam.

    -Ray Edwards
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  • Profile picture of the author Haris Tahic
    "Ghost traffic" shouldn't be in any relation with viruses on your side. No worries.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rory Singh
    Don't worry about it. It is just a poor attempt by some desperate folks trying to get traffic from you (Google Analytics users).

    Google is well aware of this issue but doesn't or can't seem to do anything about them. Maybe big G doesn't even care. Who knows what Google is thinking.

    Just keep focused on your marketing and don't visit these 'untargeted' sites.
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  • Profile picture of the author dndoseller
    Oh yes it is relatively new over the past 1-2 years.

    Every new site I install Google Analytics on gets all kinds of spam bot referral traffic.

    The only suggestion I can find to get rid of it is to create a custom filter for each IP/url which is just not practical.

    So for now I just ignore it.

    My old sites dont get it so they must target new domain name registrations.
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  • Profile picture of the author chrisChandra
    I had the same issue. This link can help in getting it removed from your analytics and also how to stop these spambots from reaching your website in the first place:
    What Is Referrer Spam & How Can You Block It

    I have an updated .htaccess file talked about in the article, if you like just send a PM and I'll give it to you.
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  • Profile picture of the author JustinLee720
    I would say bots. it has happend to my site before
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  • Profile picture of the author JustinLee720
    The bots could help your alexa ranking because it still counts as traffic.
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  • Profile picture of the author Seokix
    There is one and only ONE way to absolutely stop this and that is by tagging each 'legit' visitor with a cookie in order to register them in analytics.

    I struggled with this for months until I found this:

    Eliminating Dumb Ghost Referral Traffic in Google Analytics

    Works like an absolute charm, if you're unsure about how to set it up I'm more than happy to set the lot up for you - it takes around 10 minutes!

    Cheers.
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  • Profile picture of the author cpwebsite
    Most likely spam bots of some sort. If possible I would recommend simply blocking them.
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