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September 29, 2015

A New Threat To Your Analytics Data

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Published: 29 September 2015 

For as long as I have been using Google Analytics I have been dealing with spam bots. There is nothing more annoying than looking at your client's analytics and seeing a massive spike in traffic, only to see that it was caused by spam bots such as With enough research and time we were able to find quick ways to fix this and prevent it from manipulating our data and all was fine, until now.

It started around mid August when I noticed the term “ghost spam is free from the politics, we dancing like a paralytics”. At first I thought “what a weird search term”, and showed it to some people who had a laugh. After a few weeks I went back to our traffic and noticed that the keyword went from 1 session to 48 sessions. “Oh no” I thought, not only is this spam, but it’s spam in the organic data. In my previous experiences spambots would target the referral traffic and we found a way to fix that, but organic data?

However, after looking into the matter, we have come up with a simple way for you to filter this out of your analytics. Follow the steps below, and be rid of this annoyance in your Google Analytics.

Filter Out Unwanted Key Phrases

  1. Log into your Google Analytics.
  2. Go to the Admin tab.
  3. In the middle column, click on Tracking Info.
  4. At the bottom of the expanded list, click on Search Term Exclusion List.
  5. Click New Search Term.
  6. Add in the search term that you want removed and hit create.

We have provided a video below to show you to how to do this step by step.

This was the simplest way we found to stop this particular keyword from showing up in our data. Usually you could add a new custom filter and exclude it, however this method did not work when we attempted it.

Leave a comment below if you have experienced the same issue, or if you have been getting hit with other questionable search terms. We’ll maintain a list you can copy and paste.



Ben Maden

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