Referral Spam: What It Is and How to Deal with It

Referral Spam: What It Is and How to Deal with It

What Is Normal Referral Traffic? Referral traffic is traffic that was “referred” to your site from another site. Basically, legitimate traffic comes from sites that link to your site. For example if you visit our post Standard for Robot Exclusion and click on the Brian Ussery link, the referral traffic report for BrianUssery.com would show referral traffic from webShine’s site. What is Referral Spam? Now that we know what legitimate referral traffic is, let’s talk about fake referral traffic or Referral Spam. Referral Spam is pseudo traffic from other sites that isn’t naturally linking to your site. Visits may happen, but most spam referrals simply deceive your Google Analytics (GA) code to record a false visit without actually visiting. Two types of Spam Referrals: Crawler Visits and Ghost Referrals Crawler Referrals (most of which are automated web robots) visit your site, resulting in “legitimate” traffic sessions. Alternatively, Ghost Referrals are spam referral visits that don’t come to your site, but trick your Google Analytics code into registering a fake session through an automated script. Why do these spammy sites visit my website? These companies aren’t solely targeting your site, they’re simply hammering thousands of sites per day. Your site is one of many caught in a wide net. The purpose of Referral Spam is to show up in your GA report and to possibly pique your curiosity enough so that you click through to their site. These unsavory spam characters have lots of tactics to make money from your clicks, including redirection to a storefront, spamming ads and pushing a marketing scam. The best policy in dealing with these sites...
Universal Analytics Now Out of Beta in Google Analytics

Universal Analytics Now Out of Beta in Google Analytics

This week, Google announced that they had taken Universal Analytics out of beta in Google Analytics. In Google’s words, Universal Analytics is an upgraded platform able to aggregate data from devices beyond smartphones and desktop computers. And now that Google has pushed it through the beta phase, Universal Analytics is a complete package, with all the functionality of Classic Analytics as well as several new and exciting features whose focus appears to be granting analysts the ability to fine tune data to meet business goals and strategy. Among the new features in Universal Analytivcs is the ability to specify a time frame, or what is called a timeout in analytics speak, for sessions and campaigns. Being able to set a session timeout, which is a single visit to a website and all of the visitor’s interactions with said website therein, is key, most especially for websites that host videos whose duration is longer than 30 minutes. In the Google Analytics Academy course, Google Analytics Platform Principles, course instructor Justin Cutroni brought up this exact scenario. The default session timeout in Google Analytics is 30 minutes, so if a website hosts a video whose length is beyond that, the Google Analytics of yore would end the visitor’s session after 30 minutes due to inactivity. Now, Universal Analytics allows analysts to tweak session timeout length, which is vital in collecting accurate data. Another new feature being introduced with Universal Analytic is time zone based processing, which like it sounds, is exactly what it does. Google Analytics data will no longer be subject to the time at Google’s headquarters on the west...

Google Analytics – Innovative, Effective & Free

At webShine we use Google Analytics on all of our customers’ websites to better manage organic and pay per click campaigns. Why? We could go on forever, but here are our favorites features of Google Analytics. Innovative – Google is constantly investing in ways to improve Google Analytics. Recently Google announced Universal Analytics which changes the way data is collected and organized in a Google Analytics account. Currently in beta, Universal Analytics integrates data across devices and platforms, improves lead generation, allows for the customization of dimensions and metrics, and improves our understanding of how a mobile application performs. User Friendly – Google Analytics collects and sorts an enormous amount of data. Its user-friendly interface is appropriate for GA beginners and experts alike. Via one hour training sessions with the webShine team, our clients are equip with the know-how to access the analytics data that interests them most and allows them to make data drive marketing decisions. Integrated – Via the Google Analytics Tag Manager the implementation of Google Analytics tracking code along with website tags is quick and easy. It makes digital marketing more efficient as we can now launch new tags without going to an IT or developer team. And of course, Google Analytics is free,  allowing us to invest marketing dollars towards other great channels … like Google AdWords....
New Google Analytics Dashboard

New Google Analytics Dashboard

In the latest version of Google Analytics, users have the ability to create custom dashboards. With thousands of reports and ways to slice web analytics data, we too often get lost in GA. As the dashboard is the first page of entry into GA, the ability to customize the data and view is enormously powerful. Focus on metrics that matter and create a custom dashboard (or dashboards as each profile contain up to 20 dashboards). Create a dashboard with KPIs for the marketing team, sales division, web developers, and search engine marketers so they can more easily and efficiently review the data which impacts their daily decisions. Sign up for the new version of Google Analytics and contact webShine today to ensure your dashboard is customized to meet your business’s...