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Referral spams and ‘Vote for Trump’ web analytics spam

By IT Chimes Team
In Website Development

Referral links or backlinks are a proud member of SEO family, aimed at increasing traffic on your website, promoting products & services and establish your business. Referral links are embedded in a blog or an image related to a web product or service on different website, and used as a referral. When you click on a referral link they direct you to a different website showcasing the product and services the blog talks about.

Now, don’t get confused between referral spam and a referral link. They do sound same but there’s a huge difference, same as the difference between investment and fraud.

Referral link directs you to the page the blog or the content promises you, whereas, a referral spam might take you anywhere depending on the spammers desire.    

Referral spam might sound a bad idea, but in the industry of search engines and analytics referral spam might be a useful tool for those using unethical means to do business. The dishonest mind don’t play by rules.

Usually, the referral spams are used by website owner looking for easy money, increasing their traffic and cashing their efforts or sometimes also for promotions of something which goes unnoticed for long. Thou it’s unethical to practice referral spam, and Google won’t praise you and your for this.

Side-effects of using referral spams

  • Annoys users
  • Builds a bad image of your website
  • Your website loses credibility
  • And, worst of all, Google banishes your website.  

Recently, in US presidential election these referral spams were detected in Google analytics data.

screenshot-www-searchify-ca-2016-12-06-23-06-36

Weeks before the US election took place, google registered complaints from top Web marketers regarding this spam link they observed in their analytics data.

“secret.google.com You are invited! Enter only with this ticket URL. Copy it. Vote for Trump!”

This message was popping up in Analytics data of webmasters accounts all over the world.

What is secret.google.com ?

‘Secret.google.com’ when i tried to find out, i came out that this URL doesn’t exist. It wasn’t harmful or virus, but it’s wise to avoid such links if they ever pop out.

Which is highly annoying for anyone, this could possibly be a planned strategy to annoy Trumps voters or build voters. Whosoever he/she was, thank god it’s over, though Trump finally won. And only the abuser knows if it helped hillary or Trump.

Chances are to face such spams in future , though the clouds are clear for now. Still, take no chances, we will tell you how to block or remove such spams in future.    

To  block referral spams Searchify mentions these steps

To effectively block referral spam, do the following in Google Analytics:

  1. Go to ADMIN > All Filters
  2. Click on “ADD FILTER”
  3. Give the filter a name (e.g. “include host only”)
  4. Click on Filter Type “Custom”
  5. Click “Include”
  6. Click “Select Field” and select “Hostname”
  7. Under “Filter Pattern”, add the domain name of your website (e.g. “searchify.ca”)
  8. Apply the filter to any of your profiles.

Browse the web to avoid such spams in future. Read about common referral spams on the web.

Stay safe, and stay happy.