Semalt: What Is A Spam Bot And How To Block It
If you logged in to the Google Analytics account and observed a sudden spike in sessions, the chances are that bots and referral spam have hit your website. At a glimpse, you may feel that it will get you sales and leads, but looking closer at a source of the sessions will give you an idea of where the traffic is coming from. Spambots are mainly responsible for low-quality website traffic. In recent years, more and more webmasters have complained that referrer spam bots crawl their sites and it looks like the real individuals have visited your web pages. The black hat SEO and negative spam bots can skew your Google Analytics data in a large number. Moreover, these bots appear as they visited your site multiple times but the bounce rate is 100%. You are provided with no positive data, and your site's ranking starts decreasing day by day.
What is a Spam Bot?
Frank Abagnale, the Semalt Customer Success Manager, explains that bots are automated programs that have the ability to execute actions without any manual input. A bot is responsible for carrying out a number of tasks that a real person can complete within hours, days or weeks. Bots need only a few seconds to accomplish multiple tasks at a time and are created to visit your site unnaturally.
The Difference between Illegitimate and Legitimate Bots
The legitimate or genuine bots belong to the search engines such as Bing, Yahoo, and Google. They can index your website and shows up all your pages in the search engine results. These bots do not harm your site in any way, while the illegitimate bots are meant to harm your website. It looks like they visit your site and can get you lots of views, but they are not site-friendly and are called negative bots. The most common and famous spam referral bots are event-tracking.com, free-share-buttons.com, social-buttons.com, darodar.com, and get-free-traffic-now.com.
There are some variations around these websites, and their URLs appear in the Google Analytics accounts automatically. If you follow their URLs to know more about these companies and their advertising packages, the chances are they will harm your website. For instance, if you see a referral spam (see-your-website-here.com) in your Google Analytics account, you should eliminate it as soon as possible.
How to block spam bots in your Google Analytics account?
Almost all spam referral sites are big offenders and should be gotten rid of as soon as possible. If you come across a new referral spam in your Google Analytics account, you should filter it out, but the downside of this procedure is that the bad bots will keep visiting your website again and again. It means they will take up your server's resources and will impact the loading speed of your site. However, it is possible to use the .htaccess file to block all the spam websites. It's worth saying that the .htaccess file is a powerful way to block an entire suspicious site. The first step is to insert a specific code in your .htaccess file. If this file is not working correctly, you should upload a new .htaccess file to the root of the domain.
Another quick and easy way to fix spam bot is by creating advanced filters in your Google Analytics account. Log into your account and click on the Admin tab. From this, you should go to the Create New View option, and under the reporting view name section, you will see a Spam Free button. Here you have to click on the New Filter option and don't forget to name your filter.