Referrer Spam

Ways for Businesses Using WordPress to Block Referrer Spam

You know, business owners can look for ways to reduce referrer spam on their WordPress websites. A business person can make the decision to learn more about the various steps that are possible to take, to reduce different types of spam from affecting their websites and analytics programs. This can make their company experience fewer problems with data gathering efforts. This could lead better outcomes for their ability to generate revenue.


As you know, smaller businesses might not have the resources, to have dedicated personnel to run their websites. Usually, they can have someone in the office that does these types of tasks in conjunction with other areas such as marketing. An owner that has more limited resources might be trying to handle the various aspects of their business and can’t devote enough time to these types of internet related issues. An owner that is involved in technologically oriented fields will have the ability to create custom coding for their problems and would prefer their own solutions.


Some business owners want to be aware of the issues affecting them but will find others to implement the solution. For various technical tasks, it can be a prudent idea to contract with a web developer to handle most of the legwork involved with various WordPress related spam issues. So you can complete it by finding freelancers on different job boards and presenting their issues.

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For a small business owner, they usually will have other issues to deal with and should learn how to delegate things that are not their core competency. It still can be beneficial to get a general idea of the issues at hand to be able to find freelancers and discuss them. Knowing the ways that spam affects them can allow them to accurately decide the costs that you involve and be able to hire someone like a web developer.


One type of spam can directly interact with a WordPress website and we can call it crawler referrer spam. Usually, people report this type of spam is bots that visit URLs and can attempt to show up in the access logs of the website that you can publish and searchable. You can sometimes view this as a backlink by search engines to the domain that generated the spam from the WordPress website. Other negative results from this type of spam can include using server bandwidth and skewing marketing data.


The other type called ghost referrer spam doesn’t interact directly with a website or its server; rather it affects the owner’s Google Analytic account. This spam negatively affects the data in the analytics program by showing visits that don’t actually occur on the website. This can cause various website traffic metrics to be skewed.

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A business owner can consult with their team to inquire that the WordPress website is being updated. This can ensure that they have the latest version. As an initial step for reducing spam, this can be a prudent idea for better security.


The WordPress community has various businesses that create different plugins to accomplish specific tasks. The owner can review the available plugins that deal with blocking crawler referrer spam. The plugins can make it more convenient to serve this task. Owners can review comments, ratings, and features to decide which can be the most appropriate for their needs. They can consult with whoever manages the website to find out what they prefer.


The business owner can work with a web developer to reduce access of crawler referral spam at the server level. They can find out the server they use (Apache or NGINX). Using this information they can hire a freelancer to use available coding to hinder the crawler referrer spam reviewing things like .htaccess for Apache. They can go further and have custom code created for their own unique server issues.


For ghost referrer spam the owner should discuss with whoever manages their Google Analytics account to review any issues about the data to report it. They can discuss solutions that are different than what is used for crawler referrer spam. Since this spam type doesn’t reach the website we must address it from within the Google Analytics account. Also, they can get advice from marketing specialists or review details on Google support pages for more information.

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In order to reduce referrer spam from showing up in their Google Analytics data they can apply filters. These can include, exclude filter for crawler spam and hostname filters for ghost spam. It can take up to a day for data in Google Analytics to reflect the filtering process. The process is a continuous evolution as different spam senders can emerge and need to be added to the different filters. You can retroactively apply these filters to previous Google Analytics data by creating segments and applying them to remove unwanted spam data.

So business owners can work with their marketing team or freelance individuals to get an idea of the technical issues that could affect their website. Using various techniques they can get a more accurate picture of their websites traffic. Reviewing the above concepts an owner can get ideas of how to block different types of referrer spam on their WordPress website and in their Google Analytics account.