Nothing is safe online. Not even Google.
Anyone who checks their Analytics regularly has probably noticed the annoying referrer spam: websites that aren’t actually sending visitors to your website, but instead trigger fake pageviews that pretend their website is a great source of traffic. In many cases, they’re bots trying to get you to visit their website and buy something.
What you probably haven’t seen is Event Spam.
As of Wednesday, May 6, one of my clients is now having their Google Analytics Events spammed for event-tracking.com. This is the first I’ve seen of this in the wild, and I believe it hasn’t been reported on yet. Here, the purpose is to drive pageviews so they can make money off AdSense, Google’s own advertising platform. How’s that for irony? You can identify this traffic with Event Category: “to use this feature visit: EVENT-TRACKING.COM”
Previously, the spammers had targeted pageviews as their method. With targeting Events, they gain access into more potential fields to spam us on, and they start to clutter up the Event data that we’ve purposefully pruned and cleaned to give real insight into client websites.
An Open Letter to Google Analytics
So we’ve attached an open letter to Google Analytics for all SEOs to send out. For the sake of the platform, we need to make them aware of how spammers are gaming things. Please send and share!
Dear Google Analytics,
We have a problem. Your service is getting exploited by spammers using really basic techniques. You have the best free platform, BY FAR, but you’re getting schooled by these fools. We can’t wait on guides or implementing a pile of custom filters. Users need you and your spam team to attack this problem before it becomes an epidemic. We need spam data eliminated from Google Analytics.
Thanks, from your besties,