Susan Gilbert
August 10, 2015

Build Authentic Website Referrals for Your Business

After checking your Google Analytics account your business might be amazed to see a significant increase in website traffic under your “Referral traffic”.

Unfortunately many of these are generated from bad spots or spam referrals, which can hinder your growth online.

What exactly is Referer spam?

Wikipedia defines it as:

“A kind of spamdexing (spamming aimed at search engines). The technique involves making repeated web site requests using a fake referer URL to the site the spammer wishes to advertise.[2] Sites that publish their access logs, including referer statistics, will then inadvertently link back to the spammer’s site. These links will be indexed by search engines as they crawl the access logs.”

This benefits the spammer because the free link improves the spammer site’s search engine ranking owing to link-counting algorithms that search engines use.”

Most of the domains that show up in your Google Analytics are fake, and can affect your data by constantly sending out referrals each month. This can hinder the authentic website traffic coming in, and also affects your search engine rankings, website speed, and security.

Here is an example of a spam bot website:

Aug 10

These companies can appear professional or genuine, while others are more obviously fake. Their aim is to generate leads for their affiliate links, harvest email addresses for spam, steal your content, infect your website with malware ads, engage in click fraud, ect.

If your business is starting to see a slew of these bad bots in your Google Analytics now is the time do some cleanup in order to attract the right referrals and speed up your website for better rankings. You may need to enlist the help of a web developer to get the task done, and check your data at least once a month to monitor the progress.

There are a few things to consider when attracting good referrals over bad ones:

●      Check your hosting company – If your website is on shared hosting in a budget plan your provider may be more vulnerable to referral spam. Extra security software may be worth the investment if this is the case.

●      Regularly check Google Analytics – Slow loading times is a first indicator to head over to check your actual referrals for your website. Typically spam bots will appear in a repeat manner in 10 or more sessions.

●      Evaluate your online connections – If your business engages in affiliate marketing double the check the companies you are working with. While many are legitimate some may be engaging in black hat practices.

●      Reconfigure your shopping or CMS cart – A good web developer can help your business take a look at your current shopping cart if you’re selling products from your website. A custom-built configuration could be making your website more vulnerable to spam referrals.

After recognizing and then eliminating spam referrals your website will attract authentic links with accurate search engine results. This is good news for generating more leads and sales for your business. If you’re tech-savvy you can follow these great steps from SEOprofiler and clean up your data directly inside the files on your website.

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Online Marketing with Focus - Let Susan Guide you to Online Success. Especially loves to help Authors, Speakers, Coaches & Entrepreneurs. Susan Gilbert uses her laser focus knowledge to coach and provide online marketing and social sharing programs. Author and publisher of several books including “The Land of I Can,” and “KLOUT SCORE: Social Media Influence,” Susan combines online marketing with strategic thinking. Follow her Digital Marketing Tips at her blog:
Filed Under: Tagged With: fake website referrals, SEO