Using Filters in Google Analytics

Have you noticed a jump in sessions recently?

A few of our clients and one of our websites are getting a bunch of spam from a website with the URL of "floating-share-buttons.com" or some version of that. A little bit of spam leaking through is not a big deal but this site seems to really bump up the sessions with no value - very annoying.

In Google Analytics under the Acquisition section on the vertical menu (All Traffic \ Channels \ Source as Referral) you will see something similar to this: 

Notice that there are quite a few sub domains - all are spam traffic. 

When you click on the link for this "referral" you are redirected to sharebutton.to and a page that looks like this:

There has been quite a bit written on what these sessions are, how they work and why companies are spamming sites. See Carlos Escalera's post: www.ohow.co/stop-floating-share-buttons-com-referral-spam-google-analytics/

The problem is that the traffic from these sites is useless from the point of view of gaining prospects and sales leads. The solution is to filter out sites like this. I'll outline the steps for you:

1. Log into Google Analytics for your website and choose the appropriate profile.

2. Click on the Admin link in the top horizontal menu.

3. Click on Filters under View section

4. Click on the red button for New Filter

5. Enter a name such as Referral Spam

6. Select Custom as the Filter Type

7. Remain on Exclude and choose Referral under Filter Field

8. Under Filter Pattern copy and paste the following: 
    floating-share-buttons.com|free-social-buttons.com

9. Click on Verify this filter to check to be sure you that you get some results in the last 7 days.

10. Save and you should have the following:

Now that you know how to create a filter in Google Analytics you can filter out other traffic that is not valuable - for example visits from company employees. All you have to do is create another filter and exclude the IP address of people in your company.