Referral Spam

How to Block Referral Spam in Google Analytics

I was recently checking my referral data in Google Analytics and came across a disconcerting entry…

Hmm…what is this? Was some sort of complaint made against me for copyright infringement? That can’t be right…I don’t steal content. I suspected immediately that this was not legit, but I had to check out the link. Well, wouldn’t you?

The link did not take me to some sort of “copyright institute” website, but instead redirected to a Chrome page to download a Chrome browser extension… referral spam

Referral Spam

Now I don’t know about you, but when I’m led to a website by deception I’m always in an open to buy mindset. If a download or software installation is on offer I’m sure it will be malware-free and the people behind it will have the utmost integrity.


Honestly, do these people think this is “clever marketing”? Morons. Nope…this was another case of “referral spam”. Not the first and won’t be the last.

Now you can just dismiss this as annoying but it does tend to corrupt your analytics data. Luckily, there’s an easy way to cut if off at the pass.

Google Analytics Filters

Within GA there is a very useful feature known as Filters. By setting up a filter you can block this unwanted data. Here’s how…

Click on Admin at the bottom of the GA menu…

Google Analytics admin

Click on Filters under the View menu…

Google Analytics filters

Click on the button to add a new filter and name it something like copyrightinstitute.

Set the filter type to “Custom” and for the Filter Field select “Campaign Source”…

Google Analytics filter

Finally, put in the Filter Pattern field and click Save. You can also check to see if your filter is working correctly…

Google Analytics referral spam

That’s it! Do this each time you see referral spam and your analytics data will no longer be cluttered with referrals from

There are many other uses and types of filters you can set up in GA but this one simple filter will block most of your unwanted referral spam.

How to Block Referral Spam
Article Name
How to Block Referral Spam
Getting referrals from in your Google Analytics data? Here's a simple way to block this annoying referral spam.
Steve Pronger

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