Dating online top referrers
Spammer can fake events, virtual pageviews, screenviews, hostname, request URI, keywords and even transaction and item data: With adequate knowledge of the measurement protocol, it is possible to inflate, deflate or completely delete all of the sales data from any GA property.
A spammer/hacker just needs your GA property ID to do his dirty magic.
They spam under the belief that if a server log is publicly accessible (i.e.
it can be crawled and indexed by Google) then Google treat the referrer value in the server log as a backlink thus positively influencing the search engine ranking of the website being promoted.
For example, spam bots may use ‘uk’ as a fake referrer.
Because the BBC is a legitimate website, when you see that referrer in your report you won’t even think twice that the traffic coming from the website could be fake and that no one actually visited your website from BBC.
In the context of Google Analytics, fake traffic is defined as one or more sent to your GA property.
A ‘hit’ is that user interaction with your website that result in data being sent to your Google Analytics property.
A bot is a program which is developed to perform repetitive tasks with high degree of accuracy and speed.
They can pretend to be traffic coming from a legitimate website.
Not all spam bots are developed to send fake traffic to Google Analytics.
When your website receives an HTTP request from a spam bot with fake referrer header, it is immediately recorded in your server log.
Many SEOs use such spam bots for link building purpose.